Cardinal Tumi helped to create the Anglophone General Conference, a framework for dialogue between all of the parties of the Anglophone conflict.
The crisis in Cameroon is rooted in conflict between the English- and French-speaking areas of Cameroon. The area was a German colony in the late 19th century, but the territory was divided into British and French mandates after the German Empire's defeat in World War I. The mandates were united in an independent Cameroon in 1961.
Cardinal Tumi was born in what is now Northwest Cameroon in 1930 and served as a bishop in Francophone regions of the country from 1979. He was also the president of Cameroon's bishops' conference from 1985 to 1991.
There is now a separatist movement in the Southwest and Northwest Regions, which were formerly the British Southern Cameroons.
More in Middle East - Africa
This violence escalated in October when gunmen attacked Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, a school in Kumba in Cameroon's Southwest region, on Oct. 24 and opened fire on students in a classroom. Seven students aged 12 to 14 were killed, according to Reuters.
Following the attack, Pope Francis appealed for an end to violence in Cameroon.
"I participate in the suffering of the families of the young students barbarically killed last Saturday in Kumba, in Cameroon. I feel great bewilderment at such a cruel and senseless act, which tore the young innocents from life while they were attending lessons at school," Pope Francis said at the end of his general audience Oct. 28.
"May God enlighten hearts, so that similar gestures may never be repeated again and so that the tormented regions of the northwest and southwest of the country may finally find peace. I hope that the weapons will remain silent and that the safety of all and the right of every young person to education and the future can be guaranteed."
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.