Catholic Bishop Decries “reign of terror” in Cameroon, Says “local population powerless”

Bishop Bruno Ateba of the Catholic Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo in Cameroon. Credit: ACN

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo in Cameroon has decried rising violence in the Central African country, noting that the people, specifically in the country’s northernmost region, are experiencing the “reign of terror”.

In a Wednesday, November 16 report by the Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, Bishop Bruno Ateba says that the region, which is located in the border region with Nigeria, and is served by the Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo, is the scene of recurring attacks by Boko Haram Islamists.

“The local population is powerless against the apparent invincibility of the terrorist group originating from Nigeria,” Bishop Ateba has been quoted as saying, and adds, “The kidnappings and executions of peasants have led to a real reign of terror!”

Bishop Ateba spoke from Switzerland, where he has been invited by the Pontifical charity foundation that has organized prayers to remember persecuted Christians all over the world.

Announcing the prayers, the charity organization that supports the Church in countries experiencing various kinds of hardships has said, “ACN is calling for prayer and remembrance of the 200 million persecuted Christians worldwide from November 12 to 20.”


“Church services and lectures will be held in Switzerland and many other countries around the world,” the Pontifical charity foundation says, and adds, “Churches will be illuminated in red to draw attention to the suffering of Christians in many countries. This is why Bishop Ateba is coming to Switzerland at the invitation of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).”

The Local Ordinary of Maroua-Mokolo told ACN that he wants to draw attention to the fate of Christians in Cameroon.

“Not a day goes by when we do not hear of new attacks by terrorists from the Cameroonian-Nigerian border,” Bishop Ateba laments.

According to ACN, multiple conflicts are going unreported in Northern Cameroon.

“There are virtually no headlines about the multiple conflicts tearing Cameroon apart,” the charity foundation reports, and adds, “In fact, several serious conflicts are taking place in the country. People in Cameroon's far north are the first victims of attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram fundamentalist sect, which has caused more than 320,000 people to flee.”

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“In addition, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are more than 760,000 internally displaced people in Cameroon due to the socio-political crisis in the English-speaking regions of the northwest and southwest of the country, which has been ongoing since 2016,” the charity foundation reports.

ACN adds that the various conflicts in Cameroon have already cost the lives of thousands of citizens of the Central African nation. 

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.