In the very early hours of Thursday 11 April, Bamenda Abbey at Mankon, Bamenda, Cameroon was visited by a band of at least eight robbers who entered the monastery. All the monks were gathered in the cloister at the entrance of the Church and forced to lay face down for more than three hours while the visitors ransacked every room in the complex searching for money and valuables.
They took all the computers – eight; the cell phones though they did leave a few. They found very little money which angered them. In their frustration they roughed-up several monks though the injuries were not serious. The robbers promised to return and expected to receive about €20,000 – or else!
Other than the trauma of the experience and a few bruises, the Community is well and perhaps more united because of the event. There is the information for their herbal medicine business that was on the computers that must be reconstituted when the computers can be replaced. And there is the threat of a return visit by the group of bandits.
These last several months have been very difficult for the Bamenda Community located in the English-speaking section of Cameroon. Though their specific area has not suffered from the random killings and burning of villages that are common in English-speaking Cameroon, being able to move about only on certain days has complicated their business resources and discouraged customers. It has been three years since the schools have been able to function and safe-travel possible on the roads.
The Community will be encouraged to know that they are in our prayers and concerns.