AFRICA/CAMEROON - Appeal of the Bishop of Bamenda to end the conflict in the English-speaking regions: "Now is the time for peace"

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 violence   wars   bishops   peace  

Yaoundé (Agenzia Fides) - "After so many years fighting and killing each other, now is the time for peace", Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda wrote in his pastoral letter dated April 17 in which he appeals for an end to the violence in the two English-speaking regions that are struggling to separate from Cameroon.
"As we should have all learned, it is easy to begin a war but it is never easy to end one. We lose everything through violence, killings and burnings; but, we can gain everything by sincerely seeking justice, reconciliation and peace", underlines Mgr. Nkea.
Highlighting his role as “shepherd of the flock,” the Cameroonian Prelate indicated that he had the duty “to make sure that wolves do not devour the sheep of God or that the stronger sheep do not kill the weaker".
"Each of us has the right and a reason to react against any injustices committed", says Mgr. Nkea, but this does not mean that we must resort to violence. "Seeking peace or a cease fire is not a sign of weakness or cowardice; on the contrary, it shows maturity and proper care for the fatherland and genuine love for others".
In February, in an open letter to the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, 16 Bishops from 10 countries from all continents, invited to find "a lasting solution to the problems of Cameroon" through "a mediation process that includes armed separatist groups and leader of non-violent civil society" (see Fides, 21/2/2020).
In the letter, the Bishops recalled that "the violence and atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict forced 656,000 Anglophone Cameroonians from their homes, kept 800,000 children from school (including 400,000 from Catholic schools), caused 50,000 people to flee to Nigeria, destroyed hundreds of villages and resulted in a death toll of at least 2,000". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/4/2020)