Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for successful completion of national dialogue in Cameroon and lasting solutions for peace. The national dialogue called by President Paul Biya to end the conflict is scheduled to begin in Cameroon on Monday, September 30.
Addressing the people in St. Peter’s Square after the Anglus prayer, the Pope said the national dialogue seek a solution to the difficult crisis that has been afflicting that country for years.
“Feeling close to the sufferings and hopes of the beloved Cameroonian people, I invite everyone to pray so that this dialogue may be fruitful and lead to solutions of just and lasting peace, to the benefit of all”, Pope Francis said, reported Africa News.
The Monday is mainly aimed at finding a solution to the separatist socio-political crisis in the two Anglophone regions.
Notably, Cameroon has been embroiled in a deepening secession crisis since November 2016, when government forces crushed a movement of Anglophone teachers and lawyers protesting against their perceived social exclusion by the country’s French-speaking majority.
The protests gradually turned into an insurgency of separatists seeking independence for the Anglophone southwest and northwest regions. Since then, about 1,800 people have been killed and over 500,000 displaced due to the fighting, according to the U.N. office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs.
The Cameroonian authorities are hoping the national dialogue would bring together a wide range of people to find a solution to the separatist socio-political crisis that has plagued the two Anglophone regions.
The Major National Dialogue will run from September 30 to October 4 at the Conference Centre in Yaounde.