By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to the people of Cameroon and asked the faithful to pray for national dialogue and lasting solutions for peace.
Addressing those present in St. Peter’s Square after the Anglus prayer, the Pope said that on Monday, 30 September, a meeting for National Dialogue is scheduled to begin in Cameroon “in order to seek a solution to the difficult crisis that has been afflicting that country for years”.
The Pope expressed his closeness to “the sufferings and the hopes of the beloved Cameroonian people,” and invited everyone to pray so that this dialogue might be fruitful and lead to peaceful, just and lasting solutions, to everyone’s benefit”.
According to Cameroonian authorities the meeting, which will last one week, is mainly aimed at finding a solution to the separatist socio-political crisis in the two Anglophone regions which erupted in late 2016.
The national dialogue has been called by President Paul Biya to end the conflict that has killed at least 2,000 people in the country’s English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions.
Scores of people have been killed in recent days and electricity has been cut, mostly in English-speaking towns, when attackers set fire to power distribution equipment.
The military has been deployed to replace teachers fleeing the violence.