Carmelite Missionary Priest Injured in Mine Explosion in CAR Responding to Treatment

Fr. Norberto Pozzi. Credit: Monte Carmelo Di Loano/Facebook

A member of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers ministering in the Central African Republic (CAR) who sustained injuries when the car he was traveling in on February 10 detonated a land mine is responding to treatment.

In a Monday, February 13 report by Agenzia Fides, Fr. Aurelio Gazzera provides details about the February 10 attack and updates about the health of Fr. Norberto Pozzi.

“On Friday afternoon, February 10, Father Norberto was on his way from Bozoum to Bouar when, some 22 km from Bozoum, the car he was traveling in hit a mine,” Fr.  Gazzera has been quoted as saying.

He adds, “There were 5 other people, a French confrere and 4 Central African helpers in the Toyota Land Cruiser in addition to the Italian missionary.”

“The confrere suffered minor injuries while a carpenter who is also a catechist suffered a fractured shoulder,” he recounts and adds, “The most serious injuries were suffered by Father Norberto.”


Fr. Gazzera says, “The explosion affected his lower limbs.” 

“His left leg suffered very serious injuries to the point that on 11 February a MINUSCA (UN Mission in the Central African Republic) helicopter transferred him to the UN force hospital in Bangui where the doctors managed to avoid amputation,” he adds. 

Given his condition, Fr. Gazzera says the 71-year-old Italian missionary Priest “was transferred to a better equipped structure in Entebbe in Uganda.”

“Father Norberto Pozzi is better, they have taken him off the ventilator and now he is breathing on his own,” Fr.  Gazzera says about the health of Fr. Pozzi

He continues, “Now some of the Carmelite missionaries here in Central Africa will try to reach our hospitalized confrere in Entebbe, but it will be necessary to wait a few days because there is the problem with visas.”

More in Africa

Fr. Gazzera expresses appreciation to the Italian consular authorities “for their assistance and all the people who are praying for Father Norberto.”

He says, “The problem of mines placed on the road has existed for at least a year and a half. As far as I know, it is not homemade devices, but real mines supplied by third parties to the rebels.”

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.