A recent proposal by some reputable religious leaders for a conference of all Anglophones to formulate a plan that could restore peace in the North West and South West Regions to hold from 29 to 30 August 2018, has met with numerous reactions and even criticisms.
FRU Claudia AMABO
The focus of the conference summoned under the behest of His Eminence Cardinal Christian Tumi and grouping Presbyterian and Muslim leaders intends to reflect and pray over “the political, social, economic and security situation prevailing in Anglophone Cameroon (Northwest and Southwest Regions).” It saw the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary pointing out the position of government with regards to the gathering. He noted that the State was not ready to agree with all the preconditions posed by the clerics saying such a stand would be tantamount to accepting impunity. As religious leaders it is understood that the wellbeing of the population should be an issue of concern to the conveners of the conference. In addition, the religious officials have been in their right place to insist on the values of forgiveness, peace and pardon which are some of the sacrosanct concerns of the Church.
That must have explained why the Minister of Communication underlined how important the idea could be saying certain preconditions should be kept aside such as the call for government to overlook the security of the population that has so far been caged as the unrest persists. The number of security forces and members of the public that have so far lost their lives in the crisis has obliged the government to put in place measures to secure public edifices, schools and administrative structures which have come under destruction.
By insisting that the government is accountable before the nation and the world, the Minister in an interview granted to the media corps he recalled the fact that the State had critical and first-hand information about the unfolding crisis and consequently decisions taken were on the basis of such facts which those who are simply observing from a distant could not have the same understating of the complex nature of the problem. That justified why the issues of a general amnesty does not seem to take into consideration measures taken in the past by the Head of State to either respond to claims by lawyers and teachers trade unions in the two regions and those implemented by government services to restore peace and stability throughout the country.
To ensure that peace and justice should reign across the nation, the government has repeatedly pointed out that the solution cannot be impunity. In a country where the laws are effective, pursuing the values of peace and justice needs to be done within a context that is void of impunity.
The simple logic here is that for government to enforce peace and justice such steps have to be taken through the justice system being called in to implement the law where need be and to bring to book people who act without regards for the existing legal instruments. Cameroon being a State of law means the judicial apparatus which exist must be abiding to all and not to only some people in the country, failing which the result would be anarchy and impunity.