By Tata Mbunwe
Ex-separatist fighter, Yanick Kawa Kawa, has said Cameroon is “one and indivisible” a few days after he openly protested against the government’s reluctance to reintegrate him into society.
Yanick Kawa had interrupted DDR National Coordinator, Francis Fai Yengo, during his visit to the Buea Borstal Institute where dozens of ex-Ambazonia fighters are being lodged for possible reintegration into society.
During Fai Yengo’s visit, Yanick Kawa was talking and rolling on the floor, protesting the government’s delay to provide him a job or train him on self-sustainable skills, as he was told before he joined the DDR last year.
He then said in a recorded video that he had felt disappointed when he stood up to question why his fellow ex-separatists were being given jobs but the DDR authorities were ignoring him.
“When Fai Yengo came, I expected him to talk about reintegrating me or my fellow brothers but he did not mention it. So I felt very disappointed,” he said
Yanick apologized, adding that he finds no fault with the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration centers except that he is not being reintegrated into society as the government promised them.
Yanick Kawa is not the only ex-separatist fighter to speak out grievances regarding the DDR centers. A few weeks ago, an ex-Ambazonia fighter, commonly called General Nambere, expressed disappointment towards the government’s reluctance to reintegrate them into society months after they dropped arms.
“I’m a Cameroonian and I have the right to say what is not right… My problem is reintegration. I want to make my own money to help my family. I don’t need to remain at this center,” Yanick Kawa said in a recorded video.
After disappointments expressed by the ex-fighters, President Paul recently disbursed over a billion francs CFA for the construction of a DDR center in Buea.
The current ex-fighters are being lodged at Borstal Institutes in Bamenda and Buea but these centers lack the necessary infrastructures as they were originally meant to help traumatized teenage children and young adults.
The crisis in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions and the Boko Haram insurgence in the Far North of the country necessitated the creation of centers to demobilize and reintegrate ex-fighters in these regions.
In August this year, the VOA reported that over 130 ex-separatist fighters had escaped from the DDR centers due to poor facilities and a shortage of basic needs.
One of the ex-fighters, Nambere, had said ex-fighters are not tortured at the centers but they lack accommodation facilities.