The members of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace and Justice in Cameroon expressed in a statement how appalled they are by the continuing violence and targeted sectarian attacks against people and communities, including religious leaders and places of worship in Cameroon.
“Indeed, the intensity of such attacks has increased markedly in recent weeks,” reads the statement, appealing to all parties of the conflict to embrace an unconditional ceasefire.
The statement, sent to Cameroon President Biya, names the recent attack on the Presbyterian Church Ntanfoang-Bali on 22 August as one of the latest atrocities in a long and painful history of extremist violence in the region, despite repeated appeals for a ceasefire both to the government of Cameroon and to the “Ambazonian” non-State forces.
“We join the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon and all the churches of the country in our grief at the news of the death of Grace Titalabo killed in the Sunday attack at the Presbyterian Church Ntanfoang-Bali and the many others who have lost their lives because of the ongoing conflict,” reads the statement. “We also pray for the speedy recovery of the pastor of the church who is the Presbytery secretary for Bali Presbytery Rev. Simon Montoh, who sustained injuries and is receiving medical care.”
The statement also notes that the ongoing violence and insecurity have created great hardship for the whole civilian population, especially women, children, the physically-challenged, and the vulnerable, compounding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We call on the government of Cameroon to conduct an impartial and transparent investigation into the attack on the Presbyterian Church Ntanfoang-Bali, and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” reads the statement. “We join the churches and all peace-loving people within and outside Cameroon in condemning in the strongest terms all such senseless killings and attacks on people, communities and places of worship by both sides involved in the conflict.”
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is a member of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace and Justice in Cameroon. Funds from Otto per Mille are utilized to to promote peace with justice in Cameroon as a part of the WCRC’s Global Peace Initiative project.
Article courtesy of the World Council of Churches.
Photo (religious leaders gathering for peace conference) courtesy of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon.