Archbishop of Douala says Anglophone crisis has become complicated and situation has worsened
The archbishop of Douala, in an interview with La Nouvelle Expression (LNE) has revealed that the Anglophone crisis has become complicated and the situation has worsened. Archbishop Kleda sounded note of caution to the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime to let this crisis endure because it could have serious consequences for the future of our country. Our Contributing Editor in Germany read the Roman Catholic Bishop’s interview as published by Cameroun Info.Net
LNE: How do you appreciate the government’s attitude six months after the Anglophone crisis began?
Bishop Kléda: Things have actually become more complicated: the crisis situation has worsened; the dialogue that had begun at the beginning of the crisis was interrupted. It must be understood that when one abandons the path of dialogue in a current crisis, it becomes difficult to envisage, in a serene way to emerge from it. The government should never abandon the path of dialogue, because without dialogue there is more of a crisis, a dead end.
LNE: In your opinion, what prevents this frank dialogue which could bring it back to normal?
ArchBishop Kléda: In any conflict, the church is for dialogue a dialogue where the parties agree to talk to each other, to listen to each other with the will to be able to reach a solution. That is why the Church has advocated a frank and sincere dialogue in the current crisis in the Anglophone area, where all problems must be tackled and the solution gotten and implemented. In the current crisis, not all problems were addressed. We must go further in the debate.
LNE: Some Cameroonians are in favor of decentralization, others in federalism, while some speak of secession. What is your opinion on the form of the state?
Mgr. Kléda: You have clearly identified the problem around these three words: federalism, secession or decentralization. The State of Cameroon must make a choice: It is for all Cameroonians to decide with the courage to find a solution to this crisis which is extremely serious. It must be recognized that if the decentralization law, promulgated since July 2004, was applied in an integral way, this sociopolitical crisis would not have occurred in the same way and would not have had the same radical positions. The injustice, the inequality between the Cameroonians would not appear as today- the injustice that has brought poverty and misery. I am in favor of the full implementation of decentralization by giving more power to the regions.
LNE: What do you think of the arrest of the dozens of demonstrators and the cut of the Internet in the North-West and South-West regions?
Bishop Kléda: As soon as the dialogue was abandoned, this situation was to be expected. But this is far from the solution to the crisis. On the contrary, it has led Anglophones into an attitude of general revolt. It is not good to let this crisis endure because it could have serious consequences for the future of our country.