“National Dialogue” in Cameroon: customary chiefs play their part

A “caravan for peace and living together” was deployed on Saturday in Bamenda, one of the country’s main cities, at the initiative of traditional guards from all over Cameroon.

They want to take part in the “national dialogue” announced by the head of state, Paul Biya, for the settlement of the crisis in the English-speaking regions of the country. Traditional rites were held on Saturday in the streets of Bamenda, at the initiative of a hundred traditional leaders.

Coming from all regions of the country, they invoked their ancestors to bring peace to Cameroon, especially in the English-speaking areas shaken by a separatist conflict for nearly three years.

“When our country (…) is in danger, it is up to us, the customary authorities, to stand up and put things in order. We have performed the traditional rites that only customary chiefs know how to do (…) so that peace can return,” explained Parfait Mbassi, the caravan’s coordinator.

The traditional chiefs believe that too much blood has already been shed in Cameroon. They, therefore, want to put an end to the violence that is tearing Cameroon apart day after day.

“We have lost sons, brothers and women,” said Mbiyembe Matic Salomon, a traditional chief of Sanaga-Maritime, inviting the government to “listen” to the protagonists of the bloody crisis in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions.

The traditional chiefs want to join their efforts to those of the government, with a view to a happy ending of this crisis, at the end of the “national dialogue” planned from next week. The socio-political crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon has left nearly 2,000 dead and thousands displaced, according to several non-governmental organizations.

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