Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee set up

President Paul Biya created this committee to care for ex-fighters of armed groups as a means to provide a peaceful solution to some security challenges.

Cynthia EFOPA

The attacks by terrorists in the Far North Region for over five years now and the violence propagated by armed separatist groups in the North West and South West Regions since 2016 has left a crushing impact on the socio economic and political life of Cameroon. The crises that started as a corporatist claim in the predominantly two speaking regions of the country and to which appropriates solutions were provided to, was hijacked by the enemies of Cameroon for a secessionist movement. In his inaugural speech made during his swearing-in ceremony on November 6th, 2018, President Paul Biya called on all the youths who have taken up guns to lay down their arms and return to reasoning for a fruitful tomorrow and so that together they can contribute to build the nation Cameroon.

It is against this backdrop that on November 30th 2018, President Paul Biya signed a decree creating the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee to carter for ex-fighters of Boko Haram and armed groups in the North West and South West Regions. The aim of the committee is to provide a framework for receiving and reintegrating ex-fighters of Boko Haram and armed groups of the North West and South West Regions willing to respond to the Head of State’s peace offer.

Under the authority of the Prime Minister, Head of Government and headed by a coordinator appointed by a presidential decree, the committee has regional centers in Bamenda, Buea, and Mora in which disarmament, demobilization and preparation for reintegration will be carried out.

The creation of this committee demonstrates the Head of States resolve and continued readiness to seek a peaceful solution to the crises affecting Cameroon. In this regard, President Paul Biya calls on all traditional, religious and administrative leaders as well as all people of goodwill to sensitize members of armed groups to take this golden opportunity to come back to reasoning and a normal way of life.

According to Decree 2018/719 of November 30th, 2018, creating the committee, it shall when necessary collaborate with the relevant government services, NGO’s and international partners, particularly the United Nations to collect, list and store weapons and munitions voluntarily handed over by ex-fighters, taking appropriate measures to destroy the weapons, munitions and explosives, setting up and managing cantonment sites for ex-fighters, providing multifaceted assistance to these ex-fighters to prepare them for a return to civil life, taking necessary step to de-radicalize ex-fighters, facilitate their reintegration into the society by training them in income-generating activities.

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