Southern Cameroons Crisis: 3 Roman Catholic Bishops to stand trial 2

Three Roman Catholic Bishops will appear before a court in the Bamenda province of Southern Cameroons for not intervening to ask parents to send their children to school. The plaintiffs backed by the corrupt regime in Yaoundé are claiming the sum of 150 billion CFA francs in damages.

The spiritual leader of the Bamenda ecclesiastic province, Archbishop Cornelius Esua, his deputy, Bishop Michael and His Lordship Bishop George Nkou of the Kumbo Diocese were summoned to appear before a court in Bamenda on Friday April the 21st for their possible role in the strike action orchestrated by the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium.  The summons was given to the Bishops a few days ago, during the Holy Week by a regime headed by a Roman Catholic Christian with good ties with the Vatican.

The civil parties constitute a group of parents whose children are enrolled in Catholic schools and they claim that the prelates have not done enough to ensure the resumption of classes in Catholic institutions ever since the Southern Cameroons crisis started last year.

The Southern Cameroons Bishops who are by extrapolation members of Pope Francis cabinet have argued that they have never closed any Roman Catholic academic establishment.  Barrister Richard Nde who has opted to defend the Bishops told Radio France International that the trial is basically political. “There is nothing concrete. It is only the interest of money and the political aspect.”

In February, the West Cameroon Episcopal Conference stressed in a statement that the Anglophone crisis was symptomatic of a deep “socio-political” crisis. The bishops then argued that the numerous killings, arrests, torture , rapes and the shutdown of the Internet had aggravated the situation. Relations between the State and the Church remain strained even though President Paul Biya was received last month by the Holy Father Pope Francis at the Vatican.

By Chi Prudence Asong