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 July 25 address to journalists, Archbishop Kleda said, “The current crisis needs a serious analysis in order to get lasting solutions.”
“If what is needed is dialogue, then let it be convened so that parties can listen to each other, come to an understanding on the way forward,” the 64-year-old Cameroonian Archbishop said.
He added, “This problem is very serious and all Cameroonians know what the people are demanding.”
The Local Ordinary of Douala Archdiocese said, “Cameroonians must understand the need to resolve this crisis definitely.”
“We cannot say everything is alright because people at times go about their activities. Innocent people are being killed every day. We have so many internally displaced persons that we are assisting here in Douala,” he lamented.
Archbishop Kleda said, “If there was peace many of them would have returned home.”
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.