Rev. Dr. Nyansako-Ni-Nku, Moderator Emeritus, PCC and former President, AACC.
What is your appraisal of the just-ended major national dialogue, notably as concerns recommendations on the return of the refugees and internally displaced persons?
The major national dialogue was a ground breaking event. It would go down in history as a major effort made by a people to identify their problems. The difficulties confronting Cameroonians today were created by Cameroonians. The dialogue therefore created a platform for all Cameroonians to address those difficulties in love and fraternity, and to provide healing for the land of our birth.
Calls have been made on the need to grant general amnesty to foster the return of refugees and internally displaced persons. What is your take on this?
Amnesty is a lofty idea for those on the path to peace. We have to recognise that the task we have now is to remove everything that is a hurdle on our path to peace. A proper reading of times now, indicates that it would not be easy to tackle the unrest, while some leaders of those who started it are still languishing in jail. Amnesty is an instrument of peace without counting the cost. It is driven by the spirit of forgiveness, love and mercy. Our Christian Bible teaches us that “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt. 5:7)
Looking at the liberations thus far and the fact that tension still remains visible. How will general amnesty bring about the much needed peace?
In every conflict zone, it takes time for all tensions to cease. It requires the will of people driven by patriotism to develop a spirit of reconciliation. For this, a huge dose of love needs to be infused into the hearts and souls of the people, all and sundry. Tension would not disappear overnight. But we must set ourselves on the road that leads to peace. It is not something we can do on our own. We need to surrender all to God and leave it there. He can ensure peace to ray in our hearts so that acts of love can replace acts of hatred.
How in your opinion should government proceed with the resettlement of refugees and IDPs?
The government should send out a mission of peace to the affected area. They should equally launch a rehabilitation process to rebuild infrastructures of schools, health centers and other structures that were destroyed in the process. Win over confidence and establish trust of those affected and hurting because it does not speak well of a nation when its people become refugees in their own country. Interreligious services should be held in those affected communities to reassure them that the war is over and that their problems will be looked into. In addition, to win over confidence, government should not promise what it cannot deliver and should deliver promptly all that it promises.
Beyond the recommendations, what else can the powers that be do to bring back peace and serenity in the country?
Government should try hard to realise that the fierce urgency of now is for us to strengthen our union as a people for this and other purposes. Furthermore, a continuation and implementation committee should be set up. It should have an executive secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office and the main task would be to see that all the recommendations of the dialogue are implemented on short term, mid-term and full term bases. Finally, let Cameroon hold on to God and God will hold on to Cameroon.
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