Armed ViolenceNews

Cameroon Separatist ‘General’, 10 Combatants Lay Down Arms

A Cameroon Anglophone separatist popularly known as “General” and 10 of his combatants have laid down their arms and surrendered to government authorities.

“General” Tiger and his combatants who called the shots in Lebialem, Southwest Region of Cameroon were formally received in a ceremony in Buea on Wednesday by the Secretary-General in the Southwest Governor’s Office.

“I tell those who are still in the bushes to come out. We had a large camp in M’mockmbia, Alu subdivision, Lebialem division. Many of my fighters have died. The few of us left decided to surrender,” General Tiger declared at the official ceremony to mark their formal admission into the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Centre in Buea. 

“In surrendering, we came along with our weapons. I was deceived to join. The choice to surrender is the best.”

The repentant combatants came along with their weapons and some explosive devices which “General” Tiger said were fabricated by him.

“In the past, we thought one had to be connected to a senior government official or had to pay some money in order to be admitted into the DDR Centre,” one of the fighters declared.

“We did not know that government was indeed open to receive us from the bushes. I call on all my friends who are still in the bushes to come out. Government is forgiving. We are doing fine at the DDR Centre. Let us stop the kidnappings, killings and destruction.”

“It is very easy to get the fighters to drop their weapons. They just need some persuasion,” the fighter who did not want to give his name added.

The authorities on their part lauded the repentant Amba Boys, as they are popularly called, for denouncing violence and embracing the olive branch extended to them by government.

Dr Mohammadu, Secretary-General in the Southwest Governor’s Office, assured the repentant fighters that they would be well taken care of in the DDR Centre.

He further assured them of good feeding, good medical care and a bright future adding that the DDR Centre has more than eight specialities that the fighters would be trained in before their reintegration into society.

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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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