ICN has published several accounts of the problems in the English-speaking region of the Cameroon, which has been suffering from rebel activity and from the excessive vigour of action by French-speaking government security forces. Readers have enquired what they can to to help.
As reported by ICN: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/36401 , when Auxiliary Bishop Michael Bibi from Bamenda visited Bishop Philip Egan in Portsmouth in January, he said the situation had been aggravated by the blundering of politicians. While a reversion to a variant of the previous Anglo-French federal system had initially seemed possible, many people had been radicalised and even moderate English speakers now favoured independence for their region.
Large numbers are suffering and a relief system has been set up through the Bamenda archdiocese and its parishes. Donations can be made by cheques in favour of the 'Diocese of Portsmouth Bamenda Commission' sent to 'The Bamenda Commission, c/o Bishop's Office, Crispian Hollis Way, Portsmouth PO1 3HG', or sent on-line via a link on the the Portsmouth Bamenda Committee website, www.bamendaandportsmouth.com/ . If needed, further advice can be obtained from the Treasurer [email protected]
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, MP, has stated that "much more needs to be done including establishing a meaningful and inclusive dialogue …. The UK Government is deeply invested in supporting efforts to resolve the situation through a dialogue-driven solution involving all the stakeholders".
Bishop Egan urges all who have seen this news to write to the Minister urging her to apply all possible political effort in resolving the situation peacefully.
Additionally, people can write to MPs, sending them a link to ICN's recent 'Eyewitness' article about atrocities: www.indcatholicnews.com/news/36454 - a rare first-hand account to be published in Britain - and express concern about the testimony it provides. MPs, whose enquiries get careful attention within Whitehall, should be asked to draw this evidence to the Foreign Secretary's attention and ask him to let them know what practical and diplomatic steps are being taken to bring justice to the land, with an end to violence.
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