By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
The government of Cameroon, an embattled country in Central Africa has released a figure, claiming it’s the total number of former Ambazona fighters who have surrendered to its Committee on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (CDDR) in 2019.
The Committee’s national president, a former state governor, Fai Yengo Francis, revealed in Yaounde, the country’s capital, a total of 252 ex-combatants have surrendered, National Telegraph has confirmed.
Fai revealed a total of 130 Ambazonia fighters: 70 from the South-West and 60 from the North West have surrendered to the government, adding 122 ex-combatants from Mora in the Far North Boko Haram-hit region also surrendered.
For over three years now, the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon are hit by an armed conflict with a demand by the majority of its citizens in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia.
The Committee was created according to Cameroon authorities as part of government’s efforts to contain the insurgencies by bringing in fighters from the North West and South West regions as well as those from Boko Haram ready to surrender to normal life, integrate them and give them a business to function.
According to the government, 252 is a fair number especially as it has been just a year after its implementation by presidential decree of November 30, 2018.
Many have however described government’s declaration as a detritus, saying the government is yet to contain even the tiniest of factions within thousands of Ambazonia fighters. Some say the fighter is mere propaganda.
Although a handful of Amba fighters are known to have publicly surrendered to the government, Ambazonia activists in the Diaspora have said those fighters don’t represent then, adding they were paid by the government to pose.