One hundred and nine Boko Haram terrorists and their captives who surrendered to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) along the Nigeria-Cameroon border have been handed over to the Cameroon Center for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in Mora.
The 109 persons handed over to the DDR centre include 45 Nigerian and three Cameroonian former Boko Haram fighters, 45 Nigerian children and 16 women who were being used as sex slaves.
Military and government sources in Yaounde say it would be the responsibility of the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria to decide whether to repatriate the Nigerian Boko Haram fighters and some of the captives to Nigeria or not.
Some sources say some of the Nigerian captives may be sent to Minaoua Refugee Centre in the Far North Region of Cameroon where some of the 110,627 Nigerian refugees currently living in Cameroon are based, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to the last figures made available by the UNHCR dated February 21, 2020, Cameroon currently houses 1,749,080 refugees and displaced persons with 292,787 of them from the Central African Republic and 110,627 from Nigeria.
The Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force, General Ihrahim Manu Yusuf has revealed that all the Nigerian Boko Haram fighters who surrendered along with their captives were from Borno State which is a hotbed of the Boko Haram terrorists.
The Nigerian-born Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf told the VOA’s Moki Edwin Kindzeka that a campaign calling for Boko Haram members to surrender and be pardoned had helped to persuade the Boko Haram fighters to surrender.
“As professional armies, we always open this window for those who wish to come up and surrender. You know the narrative in the Boko Haram enclave is that if you come out, soldiers will kill you, and based on the way they are being treated, the way they are being managed, they kept calling on their other colleagues to turn over themselves” he said.
The Mora DDR Centre which was created in 2019 to rehabilitate 100 ex-combattants at a time currently houses more than 250 former fighters and according to the Director of the Centre Oumar Bichair, the centre needs more resources to rehabilitate the increasing number of Boko Haram fighters surrendering to the MNJTF.
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