Bamenda (National Times)- Sixtus Gabsa , coordinator of the National disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration commission (NDDR) for Cameroon’s North West Region says 31 separatists’ fighters have dropped arms and are undergoing reformation.
He made the revelation during a meeting organised by the Northwest Governor to evaluate the activities of the disarmament committee the Region. Gabsa’s declarations signaled that, the former separatist fighters who have accepted to give up their arms comprise boys and girls.
“We have 31 ex-combatants already, amongst them 25 boys and 6 ladies. While I was in the meeting, I was informed again that, there are three others waiting for us to attend to them,” the coordinator said.
Gabsa averred that, the major problem which they have is that of building confidence in the population. He said most youths in the bushes and even some stakeholders believe they are playing tricks to bring the children out and kill them.
“The head of state has handed an olive branch of peace to all the ex-combatants nothing is going to happen to them”, the Regional coordinator stated.
Governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique on his part said it is the responsibility of family heads to ensure that their children come out of the bushes – “it should start mainly from the family heads, from the heads of the communities, they have the responsibility to mobilise their population to open a new page.”
President Paul Biya created the NDDR some four months ago, as a means to give separatist fighters a chance to go back to normal life out of the bushes. However, critics do not consider the committee as a solution to the crisis. They argue that ceasefire and negotiation precedes NDDR if the authorities are serious and not the other way round.