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Italian priests, Canadian nun kidnapped in Cameroon

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were kidnapped in northern Cameroon overnight, a bishop and a government source said on Saturday, months after a French priest was seized nearby. It was not immediately clear who took them, though Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram is known to operate in the area.

Cameroon releases minister suspected of embezzling public funds

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - A Cameroon minister has been release from jail a day after he was arrested and remanded in custody on suspected embezzlement of public funds, the Central African Nation's government spokesman said on Tuesday. Louis Bapes Bapes, minister for secondary education, was arrested on Monday on instructions from a judge of the country's Special Criminal Tribunal. The court was created in 2012 to try officials suspected of embezzling sums equal or above 50 million CFA francs ($105,100).

Cameroonian protest singer Lapiro de Mbanga dies

Cameroonian singer Lapiro de Mbanga, a critic of President Paul Biya whose song "Constipated Constitution" became a protest anthem and cost him three years in jail, has died. He died of cancer on Sunday in Buffalo, in the northeast of the United States, where he had been granted asylum a year after his release from prison, friends said. He was 56. "I am sad he left us so early," Joshua Osih, the deputy chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Front of which Mbanga was a member, told AFP.

French man returns home after 17-year Cameroon jail ordeal

A French man kept in solitary confinement in Cameroon for 17 years following a controversial embezzlement conviction arrived in Paris Friday, ready for a new lease on life after what he said was an unimaginable ordeal. A visibly moved Michel Thierry Atangana, 49, stepped off the plane and met his family, including his two sons aged 19 and 23, and said he was "extremely worn out."

Cameroon frees French national after 17 years behind bars

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon authorities have freed a French national whose 17-year imprisonment on corruption charges became a source of tension between the two countries and drew appeals from France's president and the U.N. human rights agency. Michel Atangana, 49, a French national of Cameroon origin, and former Cameroon Health Mnister Titus Edzoa, were found guilty in 1997 of embezzling about $2.3 million and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Both denied the charges and were freed on Monday.

Gay rights icon dies in Cameroon

Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, a symbol for gay rights in Cameroon, where homosexuality is illegal, has died at the age of 35, his lawyer said on Monday. "Roger died on Friday evening, probably from his illness," Saskia Ditisheim said. Mbede suffered from testicular cancer and had an operation in July 2013. "Roger was the symbol for the gay rights struggle in Cameroon," she added. Roger's brother said he had been "expressionless for two weeks and had stopped eating," said the lawyer.

French priest kidnapped in Cameroon set free

By Mark John and Tansa Musa PARIS/YAOUNDE (Reuters) - A French Catholic priest kidnapped in northern Cameroon last month was released on Monday and said he had spent the weeks pacing his tent prison, torn by a mixture of boredom and anger. France said it had not paid any ransom for his release.

France announces release of priest kidnapped in Cameroon

French President Francois Hollande announced Tuesday the release of a Roman Catholic priest who was captured in Cameroon six weeks ago. Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, was kidnapped in northern Cameroon and reportedly taken by Islamist militants to Nigeria in mid-November. sm/cgd/txw/jmm

France announces release of priest kidnapped in Cameroon

French President Francois Hollande announced Tuesday the release of a Roman Catholic priest who was captured in Cameroon six weeks ago. Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, was kidnapped in northern Cameroon and reportedly taken by Islamist militants to Nigeria in mid-November. Hollande expressed his thanks to the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities for helping secure the priest's release, and specially thanked Cameroon's President Paul Biya for his "personal involvement".

French priest kidnapped in Cameroon set free: French government

PARIS (Reuters) - Georges Vandenbeusch, the French Catholic priest kidnapped in northern Cameroon last month, has been released, the office of President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday. Hollande thanked Cameroonian and Nigerian authorities for their work in securing his release and highlighted the "personal involvement" of Cameroonian President Paul Biya, according to the brief statement.
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