A recent update from the Archbishop of Bamenda, Cameroon, reminds us that the crisis is far from over. It brings home how vital the work of missionaries like Fr Noah, featured in Missio’s Christmas Appeal, still is.
‘The situation in the English-speaking regions is always very tense,’ says Mgr Andrew Nkea Fuanya, Archbishop of Bamenda. ‘According to observers, the Amba Boys (the independence fighters) are intensifying their attacks on the military. This leads to a violent reaction from the army, which however also affects the civilian population.
‘Recently, for example, armed groups planted a bomb near an army centre that destroyed the building and killed some of the military and soldiers. In response, they set fire to the houses around the area, resulting in the death among the military and at least two civilians, as well as several completely destroyed homes’.
Life continues despite the ongoing crisis
The English-speaking areas continue to represent a hotbed of great tension in Cameroon with the dialogue process struggling to proceed. The Archbishop continues:
‘There has been no progress in recent times. Now is a period full of activity, at every level, and we hope that after the Christmas holidays we can resume the process of meeting and dialogue.
‘As for the general situation, after pointing out that the attacks have increased in number and intensity, it must be said that, from a social point of view, life continues: people have learned to live with this absurd state of affairs. Shops, offices, transport continue their business. Even schools are open, although not all, only in large centres, let’s say that 60% of institutions are open’.
People just want to celebrate Christmas
The Archbishop continues:
‘In this period, the cities are full of Christmas decorations, churches are always full. People are tired, they want to go back to a normal life and with these demonstrations they take the opportunity to show it to everyone.
‘As a Church, we are taking action to support the new internally displaced people created by the latest attacks and we really hope that Christmas can enlighten hearts and that the new year brings good news’.