The Catholic bishops of Cameroon have urged Nigeria's violent Muslim sect known as Boko Haram to enter into dialogue with the Cameroonian authorities for the release of two Catholic priests and a nun who they abducted. Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were abducted on April 5 in the Tchere, a town in northern Cameroon. “Our message to those who still hold our brothers in captivity is that they should release them and hold dialogue,” said Cardinal Christian Tumi according to wire reports on May 25.
This comes just a few days since Boko Haram militants abducted ten Chinese nationals in Waza, another town in northern Cameroon.
Cardinal Tumi said that dialogue alone can ensure not only the release of the hostages but also help them live in harmony. “This is the reason why we condemn violence, because it leads to nothing,” he argued.
Although Cameroon's President Paul Biya had declared war on Boko Haram during a security security summit organized in Paris by French President Francois Hollande, Cardinal Tumi insisted that dialogue should bring together all parties. On the restoration of peace in the northern provinces of Cameroon, which have been the scene of renewed attacks by the militants, the Catholic bishops said it was up to the state to decide how to deal with the situation but warned people in the area to remain vigilant.