Beatrice Neba, AmbaNews24, Bamenda, Ambazonia
A special envoy from Pope Francis, is on his way to Bamenda, in the Savannah State of war-torn Ambazonia – The former British Southern Cameroons a region that has been engulfed by violence within the last five years pitting pro-independence forces of Ambazonia, and forces from the French Cameroun Republique who have reigned as the colonial masters of the territory for 6 decades. Cardinal Pietro Parolin who is the Foreign Minister, and serves as the Prime Minister and Head of Government of the Holy See will arrive in Bamenda on Saturday, January 30th, and will leave the city on Sunday, January 31. He will be hosted by His Grace Archbishop Andrew Nkea, who is the head of the catholic church in Ambazonia.
Although the official reason for the high-profile visitor to the crisis-ridden region is yet to be disclosed, sources in Bamenda have confirmed that Cardinal Pietro Parolin will say a Pontifical High Mass at the St. Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral in the city and will use the occasion to honor the work of Archbishop Andrea Nkea.
The Vatican Secretary of State is heading to Bamenda during a period when the regime of President Paul Biya in Yaounde – French Cameroun is unleashing a reign of terror on the English-speaking citizens of Ambazonia, just because of their historical and cultural differences, and their manifested desire to lead a life free of the colonial policies of French Cameroun. The last four years have seen some of the worse violence and brutality committed by the occupational forces from Cameroun who have used mass killings, and massive destruction of property as a tool of enforcing the colonial agenda. This violent policy of colonialism and subjugation has leftover 15000 Ambazonian citizens, most of them Catholic Christians killed and over 1 million internally displaced. It has equally caused 100,000 citizens of the territory to forcefully moved across the borders into neighboring countries as refugees. Just in the last week, government forces attacked and killed four innocent high school students who were mistaken for pro-independence fighters. Earlier this month, a massacre occurred in a small village community in Mautu, where over a dozen unarmed civilians made up of women and children were slaughtered by the colonial forces from French Cameroun. It is within the backdrop of this spiraling violence that observers are reading more meaning into the visit from the Papal Envoy.
One credible Catholic church source in Bamenda has hinted AmbaNews24 that the Vatican is anticipating an eventual situation where Ambazonia becomes independent and is thinking on how to position the Catholic Church in Ambazonia to be able to survive as an independent church. According to our source, the church sees in Archbishop Andrew Nkea a strong leader who can stand up on behalf of the suffering people and speak out on their behalf. The source lauded Archbishop Andrew Nkea who has spoken out sharply against the regime in Yaounde and has condemned the Grand Dialogue to organize by the colonial regime that gathered over 1000 people from all over Cameroun. ‘That is not how you organize a dialogue to resolve a conflict – a dialogue is between two or three parties who disagree, and they work to seek a solution by compromising on the issues.
Archbishop Andrew Nkea had said, calling the Grand Dialogue called by dictator Paul Biya ‘a charade’. Our source concluded that this visit will be a clear sign that the Vatican has identified a new leadership of the church, in Ambazonia following the compromising posture that Christian Cardinal Tumi, the retired Archbishop of Douala has taken in support of the crimes being committed by President Paul Biya.
Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea is the current head of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bamenda, a diocese that oversees the Catholic church in the two regions of Ambazonia.