By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Prime Minister Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute has reassured the population of Buea, South West Region of the country that nothing bad will happen to individuals who decide to drop their weapons and be reintegrated into society. The Prime Minister was speaking Tuesday May 14, 2019 during a four days visit to the South West Region.
The Prime Minister’s visit follows a similar one he had in the Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon. He came bearing a message of peace, dialogue and reconciliation from the Head of State.
“The boys (Amba) should leave the bushes, drop their weapons and be reintegrated into the society and the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee is there to assist in their rehabilitation”. “There is an absolute guarantee that individuals who want to drop their weapons will face no retribution but instead will have a future as right now they have no future in the bushes” He said.
“If they want to come back home, they can see the DOs, elders of church so that they go arrange for where the boys will keep their guns and be reintegrated in the society”. “The Head of State did not send me to fool the children, that when they come out they will be shot. Military has no reason to be here but just for the crisis that they are here. If there was no crisis, the military would not have been here”.
Chief Dr. Dion Ngute once more reiterated the Head of State’s willingness to dialogue and chatter a way forward for the crisis to come to an end but insist the issue of secession is not on the table. “…The Head of State said he will look for employment for those who will drop their arms. Apart from secession (it will never be in the country), any other problem they have he (President) is ready to hear and a collective decision will be taken. So there is no need for them to stay in the bushes anymore”.
He added: “Kidnapping must come to an end. Innocent children, fathers, mothers are being kidnapped which is not a good thing. We had tourist visiting the region which was good for the economy but that is not there anymore. We must look for solutions to the crisis”.
The Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC which used to be the biggest employer in Cameroon is now a shadow of herself. Workers have been forced to abandon the plantation as several of them have been beaten, fingers chopped off, bruised by separatist forces. “We are pleading that all these things that our grandfathers left to us should be protected. We have destroyed schools, hospitals and others which were left to us by our fathers and we too have to protect and build for our children” PM Ngute said.
Peter Mafany Musonge, former Prime Minister and Head of the Bilingualism and Multiculturalism Commission, said everyone has to work so that the much talk about peace can return to the country. “Let us fix the country as it was before; people have suffered and the suffering has to finish”. “Let us be disciples and carry the message to ever quarter, calling on those boys (Amba) to drop their weapons”.
Since October 2016, at least 170 civilians have been killed in over 220 incidents…according to media reports. The international crisis group has said the death toll since the start of the fighting has topped 500 for civilians and more than 200 for members of the security forces. Some 437,000 people have fled the fighting according to the United Nations.
Human Rights watch in a recent report says some 170 civilians have been killed in the crisis since October. They added that government forces have killed scores of civilians, used indiscriminate force and torched hundreds of homes over the past six months.
The government of Cameroon has however been swift in countering the report. Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi said “…security forces are within their sovereign role that of ensuring the protection of the Nation and the population against outlaws who mercilessly kill and sow terror and despair”.