Vatican Offers to Mediate Peace Between the Cameroons, Parolin Tells Biya Only Negotiations with Anglophones can Return Peace
Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Secretary-General at the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon and other government officials, at the Pallium Imposition ceremony in Bamenda were taken aback when the Pope's Envoy, Pietro Cardinal Parolin declared that the Yaounde regime should make peace with Southern Cameroonians as a way-out of the ongoing genocidal war.
“Dear brothers and sisters, in the difficult situation in which you find yourselves living, you are experiencing the power of evil that has accessed the world and unfortunately there is much news of violence, division, and strife that afflict this beloved land. Today’s Gospel teaches us not to fear evil and to trust in Him who knows how to conquer evil.”
Christians braved the tense security atmosphere in Bamenda to be present at the Mass
The High Priest said the best way to defeat evil was to find a way to fashion and transform it into a seed of hope and peace in the family.
“.......It teaches us that the way to defeat evil passes before us through our inner reality, through the purifying of a person’s heart where the strife against the evil that is lodged in our hearts comes, and becomes a burden of good and the peace in the family amongst the friends in our community and he or she becomes in this way a seed of hope for all...”
He threw back the burden of peace at everybody, saying everybody was responsible for peace by contributing towards that peace in every small way.
College of Bishops at the Pontifical Mass in Bamenda
“We are all responsible for peace. All the actors of society are responsible, from the smallest to the biggest person, no one can feel exonerated from the struggle against evil…”
With the challenge the entire country finds itself in, the Pope’s Envoy advised that all actors should put down their guns and go to the dialogue table saying violence does not solve problems.
“...These are the challenges that are facing you today that finally arms may be put down and peace and reconciliation may reign within us and around us. Violence never solves problems; it only creates more problems. Peace is a journey of hope, dialogue, and reconciliation. Dialogue, therefore, is the best way to solve conflicts and misunderstanding,” he said.
Inculturation was characterized at the Pontifical Mass by these women local traditional regalia
On his part, Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea, in the bid, to play neutral first thanked the government for collaboration and support during the visit of Cardinal Pietro to Cameroon and finally in Bamenda. He painted a gory situation of the North-West and South-West regions (former UN Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons), stating that the population has been victims of a situation they did not create. He told the Pope’s Representative that the mammoth turnout was a clear indication that Faith was more than politics and intimidation. He added that the Bamenda people were blessed to receive on their soil the Representative of the Pope and that he was convinced there will be peace and reconciliation, for the people want peace.
By this declaration, he opened the can of worms to the world that there was a problem in the country. He praised the Christians for braving the odds to come out to receive the August guest. He told the world, that “…these people risked their lives to come to seek God’s face”.
Talking about the destruction of lives and properties, the Archbishop indicted both pro-independence militias and government forces and their proxy militias for their excesses. He said the Cardinal was standing on the blood of innocent civilians being killed on a daily bases.
Placing the Pallium
Holy Mass for the placing of the Pallium on the shoulders of Archbishop Nkea was celebrated by Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican. Mr. Ngoh Ngoh was President Paul Biya's personal representative to the event. Other cabinet ministers, traditional rulers, politicians, the clergy, laity joined the population in attendance.
On the sidelines, Archbishop emeritus of Bamenda, Cornelius Fontem Esua told newsmen that the Secretary of State whose visit could be likened to that of the Pope himself was a blessing to the people of this part of the country. He reiterated that veritable dialogue that would look at the root causes of the crisis shall be the only way out.
The offer of Mediation Services
Pietro Cardinal Parolin’s visit to Cameroon ended Tuesday, February 2, but the echoes created by his passage continue to reverberate. Sources at the Presidency of The Republic of Cameroon tell Timescape Magazine that the Pope’s Representative handed President Biya a sealed correspondence from the Holy Father. The correspondence, they reveal, contained a detailed offer of mediation services to see an end to the “bloodshed in the English-speaking part of the country”.
The streets of Bamenda remained deserted with gov't forces armed to the teeth all over the place (C) Pan African Visions
The Catholic Church, our sources continue “Has drawn the attention of the Head of State to the hard reality that only frank dialogue on the root causes of the conflict shall bring the current violence to a sustainable end, even if the final agreement is not what the government wants”.
This information has also been corroborated by a report published by a French international media outlet, Radio France Internationale.