Church leaders in Cameroon’s troubled Northwest and Southwest regions have in a statement, expressed their support for the Canada peace process initiated to peacefully address and resolve the ongoing Anglophone crisis and war that has claimed over 6000 lives and destroyed property, causing untold suffering to millions of people.
While expressing strong support for the dialogue and political solution option, the church leaders; Catholic Archbishop covering the two regions, His grace Andrew Nkea, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, Rt Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, Executive President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Rev. Dr. Nditemeh Charlemagne, Bamenda Central Mosque Imam, Takur Mohammed Adamu, Buea Central Mosque President, Alhadji Mohammed Aboubakar and the leader of the Anglican Church in Cameroon, Rt Rev. Dibo Thomas Elango also urged all to pray against forces that may stand in the way of the process,
“We call on everyone who believe that the Almighty God of peace can resolve any and every conflict amongst humankind, to join us in prayer that the Devil and his agents (both human and otherwise), may not destroy this peace process which announcement concomitantly announces hope to our suffering people. We appeal and pray that all of us should be positive and be pro-peace in this process till we attain it”, a statement from the church leaders said.
After the announcement of the peace process by Canada’s Foreign Minister, the Honourable Melanie Joly, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication, Rene Sadi came out with a statement stating that they had not authorised any third party country to mediate between them and Anglophone separatists. However, in another statement following the outing of Cameroon’s Communication Minister, Canada said the process was still on, despite the huddles.
In the January 20 statement, the religious leaders had said it was with salutary thankfulness to Almighty God, that they, the Religious Leaders of the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon received news of the peace process in Cameroon, from Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In their statement, the church leaders say “having been first-hand witnesses to the ravages of war and the evils that have come with the armed struggle in these two Regions of Cameroon and as frontline advocates of peace, we, the Religious leaders of the North west and South west Regions welcome this statement as a major step towards the search for true, Sustainable, and lasting peace in these two regions. This has been our prayer and we are thankful to God that a hopeful corridor is beginning to open for inclusive dialogue that should usher in a peaceful resolution of the distressful socio-political crisis in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon”.
To the stakeholders in the conflict, the leaders of the church urged them to be honest, God-fearing, sincere, humble, and patriotic throughout the entire announced peace process. “It is our nope and prayer that all the parties will keep aside their personal and/or political or other exclusive interests, but will sincerely and determinedly work for the common good, inspired by truth, Justice, love, and equity.
“Pride, might, power and egoism should give way to humility, service, and altruistic love for the people of our county, especially the suffering masses within the conflict zones”, they said.
To fighters on both sides on the ground, the church leaders urged them to end hostilities. They regretted that violence is still very much present in the regions, with killings, kidnappings, road blocks, lack of free circulation, intimidation and abuse of human rights still rife causing a lot of insecurity.
To the international community, the leaders said it is their hope that members of the international community, especially the African Union, European countries that colonised Africa, and the United Nations, will show an indefectible interest in resolving the crisis without bias or prejudice, for the common good of the people of Cameroon.