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Cameroon Govt Bows To Demands By Ex-Separatist Fighters

Cameroon Prime Minister and Head of Government, Dion Ngute has accepted the demands of ex-separatist fighters in the country in a new turn of events.

Cameroon’s Prime Minister and Head of Government, Dion Ngute has ordered that the country’s treasury make available the sum of 35 million FCFA (about US$70,000) towards the reintegration of ex-separatist fighters currently in the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reinsertion Centre in Buea.

This action comes on the heels of a public demonstration on Monday, Feb.1 by the ex-combatants who blocked streets in the southwest regional capital in protest against the deplorable conditions under which they have been living and government’s foot-dragging in fulfilling promises of giving them appropriate tools to facilitate their reinsertion into society.

Three days after the demonstrations, the Prime Minister dispatched Ndoh nee Bakata Bertha, his special adviser, to the Buea DDR Centre for concentration on how to go about the immediate discharge and reinsertion of some of the ex-combatants into normal life.

Seventy of the ex-combatants were eventually selected to immediately receive a cash disbursement of 500,000 FCFA (about US$1,000) each to facilitate their reinsertion into society.

“This money would enable them to return to normal life in society. National identity cards would be established for them at a cost of one million FCFA and this amount has already been made available on instructions from the head of government,” a reliable source in the Centre told HumAngle Friday.

The ex-combatants had disposed of their Cameroonian national identity cards claiming they were no longer Cameroonians but citizens of their new country called Amazonia.

“The fear here now is that ex-combatants in the DDR Centres in Bamenda in the Northwest region and Meri in the Far North region may be encouraged by this government action to also organize demonstrations in order to also be taken into consideration by this new government decision.”

“It would be in government’s best interest to immediately make provisions to disburse similar sums for other ex-combatants in Bamenda and in Meri where former Boko Haram fighters are being deradicalized,” advised Edong Sylvester, a civil society activist.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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