“Barbaric, inhuman, unacceptable”: Catholic Bishops in Cameroon on Murdered Journalist

Late Arsène Salomon Mbani Zogo. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops in Cameroon have described the alleged assassination of a radio journalist in the Central African nation as a “barbaric, inhuman and unacceptable act” and urged the government to “shed light” on his abduction and eventual death.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Monday, January 30, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) condemn the abduction and murder of Arsène Salomon Mbani Zogo who was serving as managing director of Amplitude FM, a private radio station in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde.

On January 17, journalist Zogo was abducted near his home by unidentified men after trying to enter a police station to escape his attackers,” Reuters reported. The mutilated body of Mr. Zogo was reportedly found on January 22 near Soa, a suburb in Yaounde.

In their statement, NECC members say they receive with “deep sadness and consternation” the news of the tragic death of Mr. Zogo.

“The Bishops strongly condemn this barbaric, inhuman and unacceptable act which once again depicts the bad climate of insecurity and violence that reigns in our country,” Catholic Bishops in Cameroon say in their statement dated January 29.


They urge the government “to do everything possible to shed light on this case and to identify the culprits and bring them before the law.”

“The State must guarantee and protect freedom of expression, especially in a context where the political and socio-economic situation does not allow the full development of all,” Catholic Bishops in Cameroon say in the their one-page declaration signed by NECC President, Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea of Bamenda Archdiocese. 

On January 22, the government issued a statement saying an investigation is underway “to find and bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous, unspeakable and inadmissible crime, which cannot be justified under any pretext.”

In the statement, Communication Minister, René Emmanuel Sadi, said, “Cameroon is a country that respects rule of law and where freedom of the press is guaranteed.”

Mr. Zogo was host of a popular daily show, “Traffic Jam,” where he regularly denounced alleged embezzlement by prominent personalities, especially from the business world.

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In their January 29 collective statement, NECC members say, “This sad event comes to mark a regrettable turning point in the history of our country which unfortunately, has bathed in violence for some time now, and this, despite the ardent desire of the population to live in peace and unity.”

“There is no need to recall that violence has never built anything, it can only sow the seeds of violence and hatred, that is why everything must be done to eradicate it in order to privilege dialogue, consensus, the spirit of compromise, for the higher interest of the Nation, for the common good,” they say.

The Catholic Church leaders also present their sincere condolences “to the relatives and friends of the deceased,” and assure them of their “spiritual closeness and associate themselves through prayer with the suffering of the family, as well as with the pain of all those who knew and loved him.”

They invoke God, Father of mercy, so that He may “welcome the deceased in the peace of his light.”

“May Jesus Christ, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Patroness of Cameroon, bring peace to our country,” NECC members implore in their January 29 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.