The Catholic Bishop of Buea Diocese in Cameroon, Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi, has condemned the killing and injury of innocent civilians and vandalism after “unidentified gunmen” attacked the Buea Central market in his Episcopal See.
One person was killed and another injured following the Monday, January 29 attack, per reports.
In a statement shared with sources on Tuesday, January 30, Bishop Bibi said he learned with a “heavy heart the recent tragic events that have unfolded in our beloved city of Buea.”
The Cameroonian Catholic Bishop narrated the attack, saying, “As many of you may already know, an attack by unidentified gunmen took place last night, resulting in one death and some casualties still to be confirmed. Vehicles near St. Luke Junction along the Buea Central Market Road and in front of the Divine Mercy Co-Cathedral were burnt.”
“These acts of violence are unacceptable, and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” the bishop said.
Bibi extended his “deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and encouragement to those injured.” He said, “At this painful moment, we must come together as a community and find solace in our faith.”
“It is only through our steadfast faith that we shall find both the hope and courage to face the uncertainties that surround us,” per the Local Ordinary of Buea Diocese since Bishop Bibi’s installation in February 2021.
He urged the people of God in the Central African nation to extend “support and love to all those who have been injured in this attack.”
Cameroon’s English-speaking regions plunged into conflict in 2016 after a protest by teachers and lawyers turned violent. An armed movement of separatists claiming independence for their so-called republic of Ambazonia surfaced, following the government’s crackdown on protesters.
School boycotts have also become common in these areas, as have enforced suspensions on public life, resulting in what is known as “ghost towns”.
In his January 30 statement, Bibi called upon the population to “remain vigilant, but also to exercise prudence and caution during these challenging times.”
“Let us prioritize our safety and that of our fellow Brothers and Sisters and pray for peace to return to our beloved city of Buea,” Bishop Bibi said.