African Nun Found Brutally Murdered in Gabon

Some of 150 people take part on August 22, 2012 to the funeral of a woman who died during clashes in Gabon's capital Libreville on August 15. Tensions in Libreville have been simmering since police stopped an unauthorised protest on August 15 in support of country's main opposition leader, Andre …
XAVIER BOURGOIS/AFP/Getty

Sister Lydie Oyane of the Catholic Congregation of Saint Mary in Gabon was found murdered in her room in Libreville on March 20, the alleged victim of a robbery.

The body of the nun showed signs of having been “brutalized,” according to local reports, and her car, housekeys, and mobile phone were stolen.

On Sunday, the Catholic Church in Gabon stated on its Facebook page that the alleged killer of Sister Oyane had turned himself in to the judicial police and that an accomplice had also been arrested.

After killing the sister, the young man reportedly went to visit his girlfriend, bringing her 130,000 FCFA (around 200 euros) and a cell phone. Seeing the photo of the nun on the screen, the girlfriend questioned the young man, who admitted to his crime. The girlfriend and her brother reportedly advised the killer to talk to either a priest or a lawyer.

On Saturday evening, the girl and her brother went with the killer to the nearby parish church of the Magi, where a conversation took place between the parish priest, a catechist, the killer, and the young man who accompanied him.

It turns out — the Gabon Church reported — that the young man in question was a scout who did odd jobs for the nuns and on the day of the murder had been working with his victim.

“So it was the lure of gain that led him to take a human life, to kill a nun, and after attacking her, to leave her agonizing,” the Church said on its page.

The Church also revealed that the nun’s vehicle has since been recovered.

The First Lady of Gabon, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, issued a statement on Facebook saying she was “deeply saddened by the cruel mourning that has struck the body of Christ in Gabon.”

“Sister Lydie, whose whole life has been devoted to the service of others, is gone, the victim of an act of barbarism which has taken her life,” Mrs. Ondimba said. “Nothing, really nothing can justify this.”

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