EDITORIAL Nacho Bloodbath: An urgent reminder that we must push for peace

Anglophone Cameroonians are still in shock following a shooting spree last evening in Nacho neighborhood of Bamenda which left at least 9 civilians dead.The gruesome killings which took place at a location teeming with locals – is yet another reminder that Anglophone Cameroonians are at peril – caught between a rock and a hard place. Some have blamed government soldiers for being the perpertrators and others claim it was separatists, but now is not the time to lay blame.We must ask ourselves tough questions:How do we bring an end to this endless cycle of killings? How do we ensure that civilians remain safe?After nearly 7 years of what would effectively now qualify as a “civil war”, it is clear that we Cameroonians are the ones we’ve been waiting for, to borrow the words of the American poet and writer, June Jordan.At the start of the crisis (at least when it was still just sectoral strikes led by lawyers and teachers), the Anglophone community was hopeful that Western powers such as the US and Britain would step in to mediate and bring about peace but the fact that the Swiss government and Canadian government proffered to do this and the Cameroon government refused that any such talks had been agreed upon – leaves the ball in the courts of us Cameroonians.How can we restore civility and dignity to our country without waiting for some outside intervention that will never come?After several similar conflicts across our continent, we need to wakeup and realize that no one is coming to save us. Everyone sees Africa as a pie for the taking and each one – be they Chinese, European or American – each want their slice of the pie.So let me say what no one is saying: we know that Anglophone marginalization is just what we see on the surface but underneath, this conflict is driven by the desire for control of resources. The oil in the SW is one of the central reasons for this conflict and now that means if we all got to the table, how would we find a way to distribute those resources evenly for all Cameroonians to have a better quality of life.

The victims of Sunday’s shooting, evil as the act was and which we at CNA condemn with every ounce in our mortal bodies – were not even the wealthiest Cameroonians. That is not to say that wealthy Cameroonians are a problem, but rather that we should realize that we are all Cameroonians and all simply want a better life and no Cameroonian, regardless of their political affiliation, place of origin or language they speak – ought to die at the hands of another.To be silent in the face of such monumental evil will be to accept it or at least passively condone it and we refuse to do that.

Yes, Cameroon has serious problems but we can only fix it if we are all alive and can all sit at the table of brotherhood to share ideas on how to make it a better place.To those who lost their loved ones, we pray for God’s comfort in these difficult times and ask for God’s peace as only He can give and for those sponsoring such acts, we pray that they be served the same bitter pill of their own medicine but more importantly that they find God and His all-surpassing grace and redemption.

Source: Cameroon News Agency