Crisis in Cameroon: Cardinal Tumi criticizes military violence

Douala, Cameroon, Jan 24, 2018 / 04:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Cameroonian cardinal has spoken out against the recent use of military violence in the country’s Southwest Region against Anglophone separatists, saying local forces need to respect human life.

“You don’t bring peace by violence and violence begets violence,” said Cardinal Christian Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala, in a recent video, according to Journal du Cameroun.

“I have heard about those destructions and killings…and I think that has to be condemned. So my opinion is simple, we as Cameroonians should respect lives and the life of everybody,” he continued.

Military forces have been burning down villages in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, seeking separatist forces. Most recently, the town of Kwa Kwa, Matoh and the surrounding area was set on fire, which destroyed homes and the rectory of the local Catholic church.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Mass destruction in Kwakwa village Meme Division.Houses in ruins &amp; the area deserted. Locals say the structures were set ablaze by soldiers. <a href=”https://t.co/S2Ehhf3N9U”>pic.twitter.com/S2Ehhf3N9U</a></p>&mdash; Mimi237 (@Mimimefo237) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Mimimefo237/status/954262097608798208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 19, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

The attacks also claimed the life of a 96-year old woman who died in one of the buildings set on fire by military forces. In addition to causing deaths, the political crisis within Cameroon has also pushed thousands of refugees into neighboring Nigeria.

The crisis is rooted in conflict between the English- and French-speaking areas of Cameroon. The area was a German colony in the late 19th century, but the territory was divided into British and French mandates after the German Empire’s defeat in World War I. The mandates were united in an independent Cameroon in 1961.

There is now a separatist movement in the Southwest and Northwest Regions, which were formerly the British Southern Cameroons.

Unrest in Cameroon has been ongoing since 2016, when the country’s Anglophone community began protests to demand the return of federalism. These protests have gone so care as to call for secession from the current government, run by President Paul Biya.

Secessionist militants in the English-speaking region of Cameroon have also sought violence against government forces and began attacking military troops in November 2017.

Biya, who is likely to seek re-election after 35 years in office, is not expected to seek negotiations with the secessionists since 2018 is an election year, which could prolong the political tensions within the country.

However, Cardinal Tumi suggested that Biya is unware of the most recent attacks against southwest locals.

“I am sure that if the President of the Republic knows what is happening, he will condemn it, but on the country, he congratulated the army to bring peace,” Tumi said.

The cardinal was born in what is now Northwest Cameroon, but has served as a bishop, since 1979, in Francophone regions of the country.

According to reports, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea told reporters that the Cameroon crisis could only be resolved through dialogue.

“Cameroon is a big nation whose crisis requires concern of all forces. There is no nation without its own crisis,” President Nguema said, according to Xinhua Net.

“What is required is to seek solution through dialogue and use it to find a common axis. Those seeking refuge in other lands need to sit down together and find solution through dialogue. It is only through that, they can find solution to the crisis.”

1 Comment

  1. Paul Biya is a catholic and shamefully he doesn’t know God. I am Catholic and the mind of dictator Biya runs contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the Catholic church. The Pope needs to stand with Jesus and the people of Cameroon and condemn this evil just like he did when Trump insulted Mexicans with the threat of a wall.
    When His Holiness Pope Francis received dictator Biya, we as Catholics in Cameroon could not believe the politics of the church, interested in having a catholic murderer as president perhaps to promote catholic presence and not the love of God.
    Dictator Biya has rigged every elections and only a fool would believe that he has been loved by the people he persecutes for thirty five years. Even in the twilight of his years, the dictator has no shame. My faith in the church has been shaken and so has been that of others. I now serve the Lord at home, I have not been to the church since that ill-fated visit of Biya to the Vatican.
    Until we hear the position of the church in condemning and asking Biya to leave office, we may never return to the church because it is now a charade. Biya is evil and lacks the wisdom of Solomon and worse than Nebuchadnezzar. His passing will bring some relief and surely will be greeted by the people just as with the children of Jacob when the plague befell the Pharaoh’s family and people in ancient Egypt. We watch the clock each day and hope that this man repents leaves us alone and let the people of God have some relief. He is worse than slave owners and slave traders. He is really a pathetic excuse for a leader and he is truly the face that Satan has cast over us. Hell on earth, brought by an agent of the devil. Every catholic worldwide should be more than embarrassed by the carnage and blood-thirstiness of Biya and his regime. We will remember him just like the Israelites remember the acrimony in Egypt and the Jews, the Holocaust in Germany from Hitler.
    Biya now bears the semblance of Hitler and Mussolini. He promised to leave after two terms which he fraudulently changed from five to seven year term. The people gave him a pass knowing that he would leave after fourteen years and a joyous day break would come. But like every evil, Biya was consumed by the devil again, he had wicked plans for his country, he changed the constitution to be a dictator for life and the persecution has continued.
    Biya is a big disappointment to every believer and his malice, callousness and evil heart has been exposed. He has destroyed many generations and yet he wants another seven years to take his “rulership” and regime to forty three years, well into his nineties and should the devil spare him, he would seek another rigging to finish us up after his centenary of life. Lord, help us!!
    ” Father I come to you today in prayers, to save our nation. Forgive us and forgive the evil of Biya, show him the grace of Abraham and Mandela and teach him that currying favors with world leaders, even the Pope won’t save him, but above all Father, take him from us like you deposed Saul. Let us see the new David to lead us. Have mercy on us in Jesus name, Amen.”

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