Cameroon (National Times)-The South West Regional Coordinator of the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (NCDD) Fonju Njukang Bernard, says one of the greatest challenges of the Committee is that it has no direct contact with combatants and only rely on facilitators to do the herculean task.
According to him, many facilitators and mediators helping the Committee to reach some of the combatants are shying away from their duties, saying that their jobs are too risky.
Fonju was speaking in Yaoundé recently, during a working session with UN System.
He, however, disclosed that some separatist fighters have voluntarily come to their Centre in Buea to surrender in tandem with President Paul Biya’s call for them to lay down their arms and join in the reconstruction of Cameroon.
He challenged doubters of the Committee to be patient “because the kind of disarmament that will lead to long lasting peace is a long process and not a magic solution to the Anglophone Crisis.”
Going by Fonju, in some other countries, Disarmament Committees take at least six months before producing palpable results; as such, Cameroonians must be patient and give NCDDR time to deliver the expected results.
He further asserted that “laying down arms does not depend entirely on the NCDDR… the Committee is charged with the responsibility of explaining, sensitising and reassuring public opinion and the combatants about the sincerity of Government. We assure the fighters that there will be no reprisals or ill-treatment after they would have laid down their arms,” he stated.
Fonju rubbished those who are criticising President Paul Biya for creating the NCDDR in the heat of the war, without calling for a ceasefire, negotiations and disarmament.
He was upbeat that the conflict in the two Anglophone Regions will end one day.
“One thing is clear that this conflict will end with peace, dialogue, negotiation and reconciliation and arms will be dropped,” he stated.