CRM Declaration on the curious and untimely summons of bishops, priests and moderators of the Catholic and Presbyterian churches

After the recent series of measures taken by the Government to settle the political crisis underway in the North-West and Southwest Regions for several months, CRM welcomed the new position of the regime. It therefore encouraged them and the new legitimate Anglophone leaders to overcome the remaining obstacles to a sincere political dialogue in order to resolve in depth problems that threaten the unity of the nation, to which all Cameroonians hold so much, and allow the return of students to school.

While all those who truly want the return of peace in this crisis, which politically, economically and diplomatically penalizes our country, hoped that authorities would reinforce the confidence-building measures already in place by releasing those arrested and detained, Cameroonians were surprised to hear that a mysterious "consortium" of parents has taken bishops and priests of the Catholic church and moderators of the Presbyterian church to court.

Without wishing to dwell on the curious unequal treatment of consortia by the administration, CRM draws the attention of the Government to the dangerous drift which is taking place through these complaints and legal proceedings against religious leaders.

Indeed, behind the sought-after civil conviction of these high religious dignitaries, it is their criminal conviction as accomplices of acts of terrorism that is the objective. Should their only "crime" be, in the end, to have affirmed that there really was an anglophone problem in Cameroon and to have proposed solutions for its peaceful resolution, notably through openness and dialogue? And hasn't the government itself reluctantly admitted that there was an anglophone problem in our country?

CRM, aware of efforts made by the Catholic and Presbyterian churches to compensate for the multiple failures of the State in the education and health sectors without sufficient national recognition, supports both these institutions and their high officials whose reputation dark forces are now trying to attack.

CRM calls on the leaders of these institutions not to yield to what is clearly a provocation, but rather to continue to work, as always, to be a genuine force for proposing and encouraging dialogue based on justice and peace.

CRM maintains that the search for the scapegoat is just forging ahead and will not solve the current crisis which everyone understands how deep and serious it is.

CRM reiterates its call for genuine dialogue, underpinned by a genuine political will and the establishment of social justice. The realization of this dialogue would be accelerated by the release of those arrested in connection with this serious crisis, as the recent re-establishment of the Internet in the anglophone regions should not be the wood for the trees of the background problems. The implementation of this dialogue asked for by all would enable our united people to regain serenity and to brave together the many challenges facing our country.

Communication Team
May 02, 2017.