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Pope Francis Prays that Cameroon National Dialogue “may be fruitful”

Pope Francis at the Vatican

As parties to the National Dialogue in Cameroon convene to deliberate on possible solutions to the Anglophone crisis, Pope Francis has expressed his closeness with the people of Cameroon and called on the faithful to pray that the “dialogue may be fruitful.”

“Uniting myself with the suffering and hope of the beloved people of Cameroon,” the Holy Father said Sunday, September 29 at St. Peter’s Square.

“I invite everyone to pray, so that such a dialogue may be fruitful and lead to true and lasting peace, for the benefit of all,” the Pontiff said in his address to those present for the Angelus at the Vatican. 

In Cameroon, the Holy Father’s expression of closeness to the people of the Central African nation was given by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Julio Murat.

In early September, Cameroon President Paul Biya called for a major National Dialogue aimed at addressing “issues of national interest such as unity, national integration and peaceful co-existence” that have bedeviled the country for years.

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The parties to the dialogue gathered in Cameroon’s political capital, Yaoundé Monday morning, with the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute calling on delegates to be frank and open in their deliberations and contribution to the dialogue throughout their five-day meeting.

Earlier, the Catholic Bishops in Cameroon appealed for an inclusive dialogue and expressed the need for a neutral body to moderate the deliberations.

The three-year conflict has left close to 2000 people dead and more than 500,000 others internally displaced in the English-Speaking North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

This has affected most schools in these regions, a situation that has seen Church leaders call for the reopening of schools after three years of their closure.