BAMENDA, 6 November 2020 – The most senior official of the Catholic Church in The Cameroons, Christian Cardinal Tumi, has been been set free after being briefly arrested and detained in the northern zone of Southern Cameroons.

The 90-year-old former archbishop of Douala, Cameroun’s economic capital, was arrested alongside the leader of the traditional kingdom of Nso, also known as the Fon of Nso.

Cardinal Tumi reportedly offered himself as the guarantor in the safe return of the Fon of Nso, who had fled to and was living in the Camerounian capital, Yaounde.

The retired archbishop has also been involved with calls for armed fighters to lay down their weapons and go into reintegration camps set up by the regime of President Paul Biya.

Local reports acknowledged Friday that while Cardinal Tumi was freed shortly after his arrest, the Fon of Nso was not freed until later Thursday evening.

Half a dozen people arrested along with the two were reportedly still in detention at an unknown location on Friday.

Armed youth fighting for the independence of Southern Cameroons said they arrested Cardinal Tumi to send a message to the regime of President Paul Biya.

Thousands of Christians in the town of Kumbo staged a protest to one of the camps of the armed fighters to demand the release of all persons arrested.

The bishop of Kumbo, Mgr. George Nkuo, and the former archbishop of Bamenda, Mgr. Cornelius Esua, were both arrested, briefly interrogated and released by some of the pro-independence armed factions.

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