NW/SW : Repentant Fighters Always Welcome

As the year 2024 begins, young Cameroonians who were misled to take up arms, enter bushes and forests to fight government, State institutions, destroy both public and private property, attack, kill and maim members of the defence and security forces as well as the civilian population should know that President Paul Biya’s Olive branch for repentance is still and is always extended to them.   The fighters include separatist armed groups that have been operating and causing havoc in the English-speaking North West and South West Regions and those that belong to the Boko Haram terrorist sect in the Far North Region.
The Head of State, President Paul Biya in his end-of-year 2023 and New Year 2024 message to the nation on December 31, 2023 overtly restated government's determination to ensure that the combatants drop their arms for their transformation and empowerment processes to follow their due course.  “I reiterate my appeal to armed groups to lay down their arms and join the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Centres, “President Biya said in the message.  He created the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Committee (NDDRC) on November 30, 2018 and appointed Fai Yengo Francis as its National Coordinator to oversee the transformation and ultimate reintegration of ex-fighters to normal and productive lives in society. The Head of State noted with pleasure the increasing number of the ex-fighters who have responded to his call in recent weeks. Fai Yengo Francis on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the NDDRC on November 29, 2023 in a press declaration corroborated President Biya’s statement when he said that for the past five years 3, 870 ex-fighters have dropped their arms and are undergoing transformation and empowerment in the Bamenda, Buea and Meri DDR Centres. He specified that the figure excluded pioneer arrivals who are already integrated in society and living normal lives again.
Government’s policy of extending the Olive branch to the fighters of the armed groups does not in any way show weakness and complacency. The State has what it takes to tackle the fighters. It is for this reason that the Head of State, President Paul Biya declared, “For those who persist in criminal activity, be it terrorism or organised crime, the fate that awaits them is not an enviable one.  They must know that our firm determination to ensure the security of our fellow citizens will not falter.”   The atrocities that separatist armed groups commit on the civilian population of the North West and South West Regions are abominable and have been attracting widespread condemnations from both within and out of Cameroon. President Biya once more in strong terms condemned the barbaric acts. He singled out the attack in Mamfe, South West Region on November 6, 2023 where some 20 civilians were massacred.  In t...



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