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Cardinal Tumi Canvassses For Amnesty To End Cameroon’s Anglophone Insurgency

Cardinal Christian Tumi, Cameroonian Catholic Prelate, has called on the Government of Cameroon to declare an amnesty in favour of separatist fighters and all those detained in connection with the Anglophone crisis in the country.

The Cardinal said he was convinced that amnesty would be the much sought after solution for a return to peace in the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.

Cardinal Tumi, who was abducted by separatist fighters while on his way to his native Nso fondom November 5, revealed Sunday that he was treated with utmost respect while in the captivity of the separatist combatants. 

The Clergyman said he had a long discussion with the insurgent fighters on the form of state that Cameroon should adopt now while in their captivity.

He called on President Paul Biya to put in place appeasement measures for a return to peace in Anglophone Cameroon.

“They, (my captors) wanted to know what my opinion was on the form of government for the country,” Cardinal Tumi said of his discussion with the fighters.

“I told them it is federalism. They said no and told me to do everything I could for Southern Cameroon. I told them no; that I was like them, a young man, during reunification and at the time, we had peace. I think it is for the government to do something now and I think they can do something.”

“That is, to declare an amnesty for peace to return and for the children to go to school. It is necessary for the army to return to the barracks and for those children to lay down their arms,” Cardinal Tumi declared.

It should be recalled that the 90-year-old Cardinal has generally been looked upon as a moral authority that can contribute towards bringing a lasting solution to the war-ravaged English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis in 2016, Cardinal Tumi has been on the forefront of the search for a solution to the problem and he at one point proposed organizing a General Anglophone Conference as a first step to finding a lasting solution to the perennial problem of Anglophone marginalization in Cameroon.

After putting so much effort on the groundwork for the said conference, the Biya government eventually refused to authorize it and it has since not been held.

Since the release of Cardinal Tumi on November 6, after 24 hours in captivity, there has been so much speculation as to the conditions leading to his release.

It is not known whether his present call for an amnesty for the separatist fighters is one of the conditions and messages the combatants gave him to pass on to the Biya government.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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