Catholic Priest Shot in Attack on Cameroonian Catholic Mission Recovering after Surgery

St. Martin of Tour's Kembong Parish of the Diocese of Mamfe in Southwest Cameroon. Credit: Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM)

The member of the  Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM), who was shot and seriously injured on September 26 when militants attacked St. Martin of Tour's Kembong Parish of the Diocese of Mamfe in Southwest Cameroon has undergone surgery and is recovering well.

MHM members published a Wednesday, October 4 update on the health of Fr. Elvis Mbagsi, noting that their Cameroonian confrere, who was shot alongside teachers at the school run by the Catholic mission, is out of danger.

“Father Elvis and the three teachers who were also shot and wounded have responded very well to treatment,” the Parish Priest of St. Martin of Tour's Kembong, Fr. Tiberius Vuni is quoted as saying.

Fr. Vuni adds, “Elvis underwent a surgical procedure on Sept. 29 and one of the teachers did the same on the 2nd of October. All of them had a successful procedure and are in good spirits.”

According to the MHM Parish Priest, a female teacher who had a double bullet shot in her legs has been discharged and is doing well.


In the update, Fr. Vuni narrates having seen “tremendous improvement” in those that had been admitted at a hospital in Bamenda following the shooting incident.

Fr. Elvis sustained fractures when the militias, suspected to be separatist fighters in Cameroon, shot him in both legs and the left hand during the late morning September 26 incident.

In an interview with ACI Africa a day after the shooting incident, Fr. Innocent Wefon Akum, who serves as the Society Representative of the MHM in Cameroon said, “At about 11am when the children were out for break, three bikes entered the school compound with six armed men.”

Fr. Innocent added that the men wanted the teachers at the school to come out at once.

Fr. Elvis who chose to come out as well is said to have been shot alongside the teachers.

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“Their first question was where are the teachers? So, when the teachers came out, they were all asked to sit down,” Fr. Innocent narrated, adding, “Fr. Elvis was in the parish house, and on arriving at the scene, he was ordered to sit down on the ground. Before he could sit down, he was shot on the leg.”

“The teachers were also shot in the legs,” the Cameroonian Catholic Priest said, and explained, “It was sporadic shooting. Some were shot once, others multiple times. Fr. Elvis was shot on both legs and on his left hand.”

He said that the Priest, and all those that had sustained injuries in the midday shooting were rushed to a hospital in Mamfe where X-ray results revealed “a serious fracture in his left hand.”

Fr. Innocent said that Fr. Elvis had been transferred to another hospital in Bamenda where he had been stabilized.

Cameroon’s English-speaking regions plunged into conflict in 2016 after a protest by lawyers and teachers turned violent. An armed movement of separatists claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia emerged following the government’s crackdown on protesters. 


School boycotts have become common in these areas, as have enforced moratoriums on public life known as "ghost towns".

Fr. Elvis’ shooting is the second serious incident in the Cameroonian Catholic Parish where Fr. Cosmas Ombato Ondari, a newly ordained Kenyan-born MHM Priest, served before he was brutally murdered in November 2018.

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.