Cameroonian Cardinal to Spearhead Nationwide Crusade for Peace in Anglophone Regions

Cardinal Christian Tumi
Credit: Courtesy photo

A nationwide crusade advocating for peace in the troubled North West and South West regions of Cameroon is to be launched in the coming days, Christian Cardinal Tumi has announced.

“In the days ahead, we shall launch a nationwide crusade for peace,” Cardinal Tumi told journalists Wednesday in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala.

“The popular initiative for peace that we want to put in place will not be a rosary, incantations, a profession of faith or an avenue for strong declarations,” Cardinal Tumi said and added, “the crisis can no longer be healed by simple words or condemnation, but with concrete actions on the field.”

The two English speaking regions of the country have been paralyzed since 2016, after a strike action of lawyers and teachers turned violent.

The violent conflict resulted in the growth of an armed separatists’ movement claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia.

One of the most affected sectors has been education. According to the Cardinal, “the first goal of the crusade will be to go to the field in the North West and South West regions so that children can go back to school in all security.”

In his view, “It is unacceptable that this year again, Cameroonian children in their thousands won’t go to school.” 

He expressed the hope that “the crusade will give birth to a forum that will consecrate peace lovers, apostles of peace, peace activists, knights of peace, and lords of peace.” 

During the press conference, the Church leader invited faith-based groups to be part of the crusade saying, “We invite all Churches to take part, the Catholic Church, our Muslim brothers, protestant churches, the Anglican Church amongst others.”

It is not the first time the emeritus archbishop of Douala is leading an initiative to propose solutions to the Anglophone crisis. 

In July 2018, Cardinal Tumi alongside other religious authorities convened the All Anglophone General Conference (AGC) to seek solutions to end the conflict. The meeting never took place because the government did not grant the authorization.

Strategizing for the planned crusade, the Cardinal revealed, “The church will now convene the traditional communities and their chiefs, political parties, leaders of the civil society, the media, companies, artists and people of culture, intellectuals, women, and youth as well as people who want to do something for peace.”

The Catholic prelate did not disclose the precise day the crusade is slated to take place. 

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

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