It is with pain that the Christian community of Bafia and the Cameroonian people learned this Friday the death of Bishop Jean-Marie Balla.
His body was recovered thanks to the concerted action of the soldiers, sailors, firemen near Monatélé in the Lekié division in the Central region of Cameroon. A great loss for the Cameroonian church.
After the announcement of his disappearance there was only a hypothesis that turned out to be a death. According to the authorities, his body was discovered by a Malian fisherman.
His body was then taken to the Yaounde hospital where he is expected to undergo an autopsy which should reveal the real causes of the death of Bishop Bala. This discovery half-tinted the mystery surrounding his disappearance.
The circumstances leading to his death remain to be elucidated. According to our sources, the body of the prelate will be kept in a morgue in Yaoundé, where investigations will continue.
The long-awaited autopsy results
Only the external legal examinations carried out on the body of the victim can reveal the real causes of his death. The authorities have not yet specified the exact date of the beginning of the autopsy which is supposed to close this dark chapter of the history of the diocese of Bafia.
“Despite the discovery of the body of the bishop, Benoît Balla, one can not for the moment conclude from a suicide by drowning. It is necessary to wait for medico legal assessments to be made on the body. These investigations can determine the time of death, what he ate, to know if it was a crime masked as suicide. “Writes journalist Boris Bertolt on his Facebook page.
Indeed, “the forensic autopsy consists in demonstrating the identification of the corpse if it has not been identified, the evaluation of the moment of death, the investigation of the medical causes of death. In case of violent death, the causes of death should be determined by developing the arguments for homicide, suicide or an accident, and to take all the samples which may confirm or disprove the cause of death“, says a forensic pathologist.
Public opinion already doubts about results of autopsy
Doubts persist in public opinion after the discovery of the Monseigneur’s body. What really happen to him? Is it a murder or a suicide?
Cameroonian opinion fears that the true truth will not reveal as a result of the autopsy. They fear that the scene of the crime and the body may be defiled.
“Given the images of the first hands that touched the body and the conditions of embarkation I wonder how one can let multiple hands touch a body that is the subject of a criminal investigation without protecting these hands? If the thesis of suicide, which is in fact the easiest to get into public opinion, is confirmed, it reflects a very complex situation within the church. This bishop’s death I repeat is to be correlated with that of the rector of the minor seminary of Bafia, Abbot Ndjama Marcel, which occurred a few days ago, of which he was very close, “reiterates Boris Bertolt.
“I doubt very much that there is a reliable investigation …. If it is a crime it is sponsored by very large fish so do not expect anything from forensic doctors and others … everything is just masquerade in this country, “, desolated another person.
“The Vatican may have to send its own forensic pathologists and investigators to see clearly in this matter! “Suggests Alain Bila.
“A drowned man two days in the waters comes out with a flat stomach,” queried Jean-Jacques.
The last events before the announcement of the disappearance of the bishop
On Wednesday 31 May 2017, Bishop Bala’s car was found on the bridge of Ebepda, a locality located on the Yaounde-Bafoussam axis, 60 km from the city of Bafia. There was in his car a note “I’m in the water” and his identity papers.
Immediately, his disappearance was announced. A news that caused anxiety within the Christian community of Bafia and the entire Cameroon. The police and gendarmerie, firefighters and political and religious authorities mobilized as soon as the announcement of his disappearance was made.
Leaving the bishop’s palace, Bishop Jean-Marie Benoît Balla said furtively to the guards that he was leaving for Yaoundé. An attitude that his relatives do not recognize. According to a priest from the diocese of Bafia, corroborated by other collaborators of the disappeared, Bishop Jean-Marie Benoît Balla always indicated when he moved. “If he did not say anything, he always left a note,” says Sister Scholastica.
After 72 hours of waiting, the body of the bishop discovered by a Malian fisherman according to the authorities, was finally drafted in Monatele.This is only the first episode of a series that promises to be very long.