News / Africa

French Priest Kidnapped in Cameroon

FILE - This undated photo provided by the St Jean Baptiste Parish in Sceaux, north of Paris, shows French kidnapped priest Georges Vandenbeusch.
FILE - This undated photo provided by the St Jean Baptiste Parish in Sceaux, north of Paris, shows French kidnapped priest Georges Vandenbeusch.
VOA News
The foreign ministry of France says a French priest has been kidnapped in northern Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria.

The ministry said Georges Vandenbeusch was abducted late Wednesday near the town of Koza, about 30 kilometers from the border.

The deputy prefect of Cameroon's far northwestern Mayo-Tsanaga district, Ouhe Kolande, confirmed the kidnapping to VOA.

He said it appears to have been two men who came and attacked the priest.  A nun saw it and alerted the neighbors.  Kolande said when the neighbors came out, the attackers forced the priest onto a motorcycle and fled.  "We suspect they were Boko Haram members because they have been in the area for a while," he added. 

Colonel Tatang Francis, a commander for Cameroon's army in the far north, told VOA that a manhunt is on but the attackers appear to have gone back over the border into Nigeria.

He said the motivation for the kidnapping remains unclear.

"They came mainly for money," Francis said. "When they could not find the money, that's when I heard they decided to take the reverend."

France says it is working with authorities in Cameroon to find the kidnappers and have the priest released.

French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal told VOA's French to Africa Service that French citizens had been discouraged from traveling to the area where Vandenbeusch was kidnapped.  Nadal said French officials told him to leave the area but he decided to stay because "he wanted to be close to the local population for his mission."

Asked if the kidnappers had crossed into Nigeria, Nadal said he did not want to comment for security reasons.

A French family of seven was kidnapped in northern Cameroon earlier this year and released unharmed.  Boko Haram claimed responsibility for that kidnapping.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs