“Saturate Mother Mary, Queen of peace with prayers for peace": Archbishop in Cameroon

Archbishop Andrew Nkea of Cameroon's Bamenda Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Archbishop of Cameroon’s Archdiocese of Bamenda has called for prayers for peace in the Central African nation through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of peace.

Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya who was speaking at the inauguration of the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima at Abangoh in his Metropolitan See said the inhabitants of the troubled Cameroon’s English-speaking regions are yearning for peace.

“Saturate Mother Mary, Queen of peace with prayers for peace and not to stop worrying her with such prayers until she intercedes for us so that we can have our most desired peace,” Archbishop Nkea said Wednesday, December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. 

The Cameroonian Archbishop described peace as “a priceless commodity which everyone in our part of the country is yearning for” and asked all Catholics to pray the Holy Rosary as individuals, families, groups, in Small Christian communities (SCCs), mission stations, and Parishes everyday throughout the Marian year, and particularly to make the most of the prayer ground that he inaugurated.

“This conflict has been going on for too long. Lives have been lost, property destroyed and our people have been forced to flee their homeland,” the Local Ordinary of Bamenda Archdiocese noted, and added, “After so many years fighting and killing each other, now is the time for peace.”


Cameroon’s two English speaking regions have been in conflict since 2016, after a strike action of lawyers and teachers turned violent.

The violence resulted in the growth of an armed separatists’ movement claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia.

English-speaking Cameroonians make up to around 20 percent of the country’s population and have long complained about being marginalized by the French-speaking ruling class.

Last month, members of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) condemned the killing of three students and a teacher allegedly by armed men in Cameroon’s restive South West region.

“Our hearts have been pierced again! In recent times, we have painfully witnessed an agonizing drama involving, among other evils, the targeting and killing of pupils, students and teachers,” the BAPEC members said in their November 26 collective statement.

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They added, “These innocent victims are not the cause of the socio-political crisis and their death cannot be the solution. Their murder is totally senseless and unacceptable.”

The November 24 incident added to the long list of cases of violence, kidnappings and killings on the rise in Cameroon's troubled English-Speaking regions.

On August 20, a seven-year-old pupil at St. Theresa’s Catholic Primary School in Cameroon’s Kumbo Diocese was killed by a stray bullet during a crossfire between Cameroonian military and militants near the learning institution.

In October,  a six-year-old pupil was killed after a policeman reportedly opened fire on a car the girl was traveling in, in Cameroon’s city of Buea.

In a November 24 report shared with ACI Africa, Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) reported that civilians were killed and many others were injured by Cameroonian military at a village in the South West region raising questions about the professionalism of the men in uniform.


On November 14, the military stormed St. Elizabeth Catholic General Hospital and Cardiac Centre of the Archdiocese of Bamenda in search of a suspected separatist fighter.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, Wednesday, December 8, the Director of the hospital recounts the events of November 14 at the Catholic health institution.

“The number of the military men could not be easily determined but they came in three (03) armored cars. They were armed with sophisticated weapons and dressed in combat attire. A frightful scene for all, especially for patients in a hospital setting,” Sr. Anshoma Helen Mbuoh explains.

Sr. Mbuoh adds, “The Military requested for the Emergency Unit of the Hospital, as they claimed to be searching for Amba boys that were brought for treatment in the Hospital that same morning.”

“I took them to the Out Patient Department, which serves as the emergency unit and where all consultations in the Hospital begin,” the Catholic Nun recounts, and continues, “Not satisfied with this, they insisted to be taken to the Emergency Unit with the inscription on the door but were calmly told that all cases are brought to the Out Patients' Unit for consultation.”

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The member of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis further recalls her experience with the military men at the Catholic hospital, “Here too, they were told that emergency treatment is administered and those with indication of admission are normally sent to the appropriate units.”

“They (military) took the Registers and went through it thoroughly. Then they resorted to a thorough search of the entire Hospital. They moved from Ward to Ward and from Unit to Unit. The Dispensary, Admission Room, Men's Medical Unit, the Pediatric Unit, the Females' Medical Unit, the Surgical Units I & II, the Maternity and the Theatre were all bumped into, with patients and little children and babies and pregnant women in them,” she explains.

Sr. Mbuoh continues, “Not finding the Amba Boys they were looking for, they started insulting and threatening the Reverend Sisters. They even threatened to shoot the Sisters in the leg if they did not indicate where they had hidden and are treating the Amba Boys in the Hospital.” 

Two security officers on duty were arrested and systematically interrogated, the Catholic Nun recounts in the statement shared with ACI Africa December 8, adding that the security offers “were asked, at gunpoint, to show where the Amba Boys were hidden.”

“The response from the Guards was clear and concise. Their responsibility starts with receiving all the patients and then forward to the Out patients' Department, where the cases are taken over by the Nurses and Doctors,” she recounts. 

Not satisfied with this explanation, the Catholic Nun says “the military exercised brute force on the security officers. They were severely beaten with the butts of the guns and kicked with their military boots. They all sustained injuries and swollen faces.”

“At the end of the search, at about 3:30 p.m., some of the military men expressed remorse and indicated that their action was exaggerated. However, some of them continued with their threats to the Sisters and the Hospital,” Sr. Mbuoh says about the November 14 incident at the Catholic hospital.

They warned that the next time they would be back, they will set the entire hospital on fire, Sr. Mbuoh recalls what the military men said in the statement shared with ACI Africa. 

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.