“Thanks be to God, relative calm returning”: Archbishop on Insecurity Crisis in Cameroon

Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea, President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC). Credit: NECC

There are positive signs that give hope for an end to the protracted situation of insecurity in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has said. 

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 48th Plenary Assembly of members of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC), Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea thanked God that “relative calm” was being experienced in the two English-speaking regions of the Central African nation. 

“Our ongoing efforts for the return of peace in our country have not been in vain, because, despite the continuous threats from Boko Haram in the North and the prevailing insecurity in the North West and South West Regions, we do not give up; instead, we ask Christ the Risen One to shower us with His peace,” the NECC President said Tuesday, April 18.

He highlighted some of the indicators of the hope for peace and normalcy, saying, “Thanks be to God, relative calm is returning to the North West and South West Regions; some businesses are reopening and many children are going back to school.”

“This is a great sign of hope, but the situation of insecurity still remains very preoccupying,” Archbishop Nkea said during the opening ceremony held at the headquarters of NECC in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaoundé.


Cameroon’s English-speaking regions plunged into conflict in 2016 after a protest by lawyers and teachers turned violent. An armed movement of separatists claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia emerged following the government’s crackdown on protesters. 

School boycotts have become common in these areas, as have enforced moratoriums on public life known as "ghost towns".

In his April 18 address, Archbishop Nkea denounced “extrajudicial killings” recorded in the country in recent months, citing the January 17 abduction and eventual assassination of renowned journalist, Arsène Salomon Mbani Zogo, which NECC members condemned, describing the events as “barbaric, inhuman and unacceptable act”.

“In the recent months, we have been very saddened by the various extrajudicial killings that have been taking place in our society, top among  which was the murder of the Journalist, Martinez Zogo, in Yaounde,” Archbishop Nkea who previously served as Apostolic Administrator of Mamfe Diocese in Cameroon’s Southwestern region said.

The Cameroonian Catholic Archbishop recalled that the “Bishops of Cameroon together with the Universal Catholic Church have always called on all peoples to respect human life, which is a gift from God from the moment of conception to its natural death.”

More in Africa

“To kill someone is a sin against the 5th Commandment of the Decalogue and this commandment clearly states: ‘Thou shall not kill,’” he emphasized.

Archbishop Nkea continued, “It is our prayer and hope that the real killers of fellow citizens will be clearly identified and brought to book according to the laws of our country.”

“We make a very strong appeal here to all Cameroonians, to stop killing one another. We are all brothers and sisters of the same Fatherland, and children of the same God who is Father to us all,” the 57-year-old Catholic Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in August 2013 as the Coadjutor Bishop of Mamfe Diocese said.

He added, “Like the Apostles on the day after Easter, we have to proclaim Christ victorious over death, to our society marked by various sufferings - socio-political crises, agricultural difficulties, the lack of farm to market roads, repeated killings, the Covid-19 pandemic, high cost of living and other social injustices, to name just a few.”

In this kind of atmosphere, Archbishop Nkea said, “We must continue to bear witness to our faith in a world that seems to have lost its bearings and which now gives way to all kinds of abuses.”


“Our people need to pray; our country needs prayers and we have to look up to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is the Comforter of the Afflicted, Mirror of Justice, Help of Christians and Queen of Peace, to intercede for us,” the Cameroonian Archbishop said.

He implored, “May the same Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles and Special Patroness of Cameroon, intercede for us so that we can achieve our common objectives and worthily announce the Good News of the Risen Lord to all creation.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.