By Kesah Princely & Paul Njie, In Buea
Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda have urged separatist fighters and leaders in the diaspora to let children in Anglophone Cameroon return to school.
In an open letter signed by all six bishops in the province, the men of God intimated that every society needs an educated class. They emphasized the need for pro-independence fighters to spare students the stress of losing a fourth academic year.
“All the children in the North West and South West regions deserve this right to education and to a good future.”
The clergymen pointed out that, other countries like Sudan and Eritrea which were plagued with similar crises did not permanently shut down schools.
Meanwhile, the bishops also criticised the diaspora for fanning the flames of school boycott, whereas they send their kids to good schools abroad.
“It is difficult for those in the diaspora to understand the sufferings of the people in these two regions and how much their rash actions have sometimes led to the death of the very people they claim they are protecting. Does not the golden rule say, ‘Do unto others what you would want done unto you?'” The men of God questioned.
According to the bishops, some Anglophone activists at the beginning of the crisis, misled the population that UNESCO would not recognise certificates acquired — a claim which turned out to be false.
Meantime, the government was asked to withdraw troops from school environments, while appealing on the military to be professional.
The bishops in their open letter, revealed that they had “concrete cases where the military invaded schools and disturbed the quiet of children studying.”
They also called on the military to refrain from using excessive force on the civilian population.
It remains unclear whether the recent call by the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province will be respected, given that this is not the first time they are appealing for schools to resume in the restive Anglophone regions.
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