AFRICA/CAMEROON - "Let us not fall into the trap of tribalism" warn the Bishops
Yaoundé (Agenzia Fides) - "It is worth noting that, during and after the last presidential elections, we
witnessed a growing and highly worrying deterioration of the social climate", say the Bishops of Cameroon in the Pastoral Letter bearing the date of December 10, in which they warn citizens on tribalism that threatens to undermine national cohesion.
The Bishops report the spread of "attitudes, words and behaviors" that denote "an unacceptable disregard for the dignity of people" and that "can degenerate into devastating tribal conflicts".
In the document, sent to Agenzia Fides, they denounce those politicians who "through accurate forms of media lynching are trying to turn their political and ideological enemies into enemies of all the people, as Saul did against David".
"The roots of tribalism are cultural, economic, political and even religious. Languages, customs and traditions are factors of cohesion within a group", the Bishops recall. The dysfunctions of the State mean that individual persons "cannot find in State institutions what should be expected of them, in particular employment security, speedy and fair settlement of disputes in the courts, warn welcome and equitable care in hospitals, the safety of people and property, the citizen turns spontaneously to "his/her own". From this point of view, bad governance creates a bedrock for tribalism.
The Bishops conclude by inviting the "sons and daughters of Cameroon, whose beauty is so oftenexalted but is now put to the test by our selfishness, the time of awakening and re-awakening, commitment and reconstruction has come. Above all, it is up to us to return to the school of openness to differences, to hospitality, and mutual acceptance. The harmonious development of a nation stems from a synergy of action in which the whole is made up of all the parts put together, and where each person blooms at the same time with what he/she gives and what he/she receives, in a spirit of brotherliness and openheartedness. In such a momentum, every Cameroonian is welcome everywhere and should feel at home in all the regions of Cameroon, in the cities as in the furthest villages". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 19/12/2019)