Yaoundé (National Times)-Five months after launching the Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Aid to victims of the conflict in Anglophone Cameroon, Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, has created a Coordinating Centre to manage the aid.
According to a decree signed on Wednesday, November 21 by Philemon Yang, the Centre is headed by the Minister of Territorial Administration and assisted by the Minister of External Relations.
The Centre, which is based at the Ministry of Territorial Administration, would also have Regional antennas in the two affected Regions headed by the respective Regional Governors.
Apart from these institutions mentioned, the general follow up and evaluation would concern many other departments including; the Ministries of Defence, Public Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, Livestock and Animal Industries, Communication, Secondary Education, Basic Education, Social Affairs, Women’s Empowerment and the Family, the National Gendarmerie, Police and the Central Intelligence Unit.
The Centre would have five main functions including coordinating all assistance going to victims of the conflict, assure a harmonized intervention by all actors, organise consultations between the different actors, follow up and evaluate the actions as well as other missions assigned to it.
Since the humanitarian assistance plan was launched in June with a heralded show the programme was simply forgotten with much concentration on the Presidential election. Many victims of the conflict still remained in the bushes in deplorable conditions with most aid coming from NGOs and Churches on the ground. Even some of them who migrated into other towns like Yaoundé and Douala say they have not yet benefitted from any governmental aid.
However, at its launch in June, Philemon Yang promised a plethora of good tidings including the rebuilding of destroyed schools before September as well as houses destroyed. But on the ground most of the schools have remained in their devastated state and the scorched earth policy of burning down houses and even churches has continued unabated.
Boyo and Bali have become the latest victims with uncountable number of houses burnt. Victims on the ground have pointed accusing fingers at the Cameroon military even though the latter denies the fact.
Just after the humanitarian plan was launched in June, refugees in Nigeria immediately rejected the gifts and warned the Government not to make the trip to their host communities. It would be a heinous task convincing this mass of people to accept the gifts given that some of them have already become familiar with other agencies.
With an upsurge of violence in recent days, it may be an impossible mission for Government agencies to penetrate the hideout of these victims given that a good number of them are lodged in deep forest. Moreover, with a spirit of suspicion reigning between the Government and the population it has becomes difficult for State officials to execute this task. According to Peace and Conflict expert, Dr William Arrey, the humanitarian plan is welcomed but the timing is wrong as only a peaceful resolution of the conflict can permit a holistic execution of such a plan.
The recent postponement of the Tumi-led AGC after Government failed to authorise the meeting has also heralded much suspicion about Government’s true intention in the conflict. Despite the much call for negotiations nationally and internationally, the Prime Ministerial decree makes no mention of this. Rather, it may be another episode of guns on the one hand and food on the other hand as houses may be built today just to be burnt down tomorrow.