Religious leaders call for peace in Cameroon
Christians and Muslims in Cameroon have called for cessation of the fighting between the government and separatist groups of the English speaking northern region of the country. The religious groups said the killings continue to escalate and religious leaders cannot be indifferent to the destruction of human lives and property.
The Christian and Muslim leaders called on Cameroonians in diaspora to desist from fuelling the crises in the country. Rev. Gustav Ebai, a spokesman for the Council of Protestant Churches of Cameroon (CEPCA), said, “We call on the diaspora to stop the hate speech communication that promotes violence, suspicion and fear among the people of Cameroon.”
The religious groups, consisting of the Episcopal conference of Cameroon’s Roman Catholic bishops, the Council of Protestant Churches and the Islamic superior council of Cameroon, as well as all mosques and churches, however kept out all pentecostal denominations.
Amnesty International said, on Tuesday, that about 400 civilians have been killed in 2018, in the fight for independence by the English Speaking region of northern Cameroon who fell they have been discriminated on and marginalised by the French peaking southern region which predominantly controls the government.
A human rights organisation said it recorded 260 security incidents, and atrocities committed against civilians by both Cameroon’s soldiers and armed Anglophone separatists, since January.
The religious leaders in Cameroon said only peaceful democratic engagement can solve the problems in the country and not the violence. “We call on the diaspora to participate in the political process of Cameroon using democratic and nonviolent means. We call on the diaspora to respect the sacredness of human life and children’s rights to education. They should put an end to the trivialisation of human dignity and the hostage takings of schools. We call on those who finance the activities of armed groups to stop this dirty work that aims at destroying the natural fabric of Cameroon.” The clerics said.
The Cameroonian government has however insisted that only the armed separatists should surrender their arms. Cameroon’s Minister of communication a Issa Tchiroma said “in a law-abiding nation like our country, it is unacceptable to ask the government to put our regular army at the same level with terrorists,” saying that “is unbearable, unacceptable.”
Religious groups in Cameroon have united, since the raise of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram attacked the country’s northern region to preach against the Boko Haram Islamic ideology.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos