It has been a tense Monday, February 1st, 2021 at Bokwango village Buea, Capital of the South West region of Cameroon.
Former Ambazonia fighters blocked the road with the use of blanks and stones. On why the boys left their Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration -DDR Centre in Buea to the street in protest, one of them says, “We are tired of government’s unfulfilled promises of giving us jobs to make a better life. This is the major thing they promised to us when we were fighting in the bushes for the restoration of the state of Ambazonia. Several months after we laid our arms and came to this center, it’s from one promise to another”.
To the ex-fighters, their families lavish in abject poverty while government shows no good faith in creating jobs as she promised.
Besides not creating employment opportunities for the boys that held guns against the government of Cameroon in the past, they also decry poor living conditions in the center.
To them, the feeding and other social conditions in the center are unacceptable. “…we are not happy living there again. We want to get back to normal life in the society ” One of the boys stated.
The director of DDR Centre Buea, as well as Dr. Mohamadou, secretary-general at the South West governor’s office, the divisional officer of Buea subdivision, Abba Abdouraman and defense officials, have held a meeting with the boys in the area of their protest.
They tried convincing them to return to the DDR center but they retorted “we want everything discussed here. We are tired of promises in the office.”
The protest of the ex-fighters comes as a surprise to some Cameroonians given that the boys recently uploaded videos and pictures of themselves depictin living a good life in the center.
To some observers, the videos were mere propaganda designed by the government and acted by the ex-fighters to lure and convince those still fighting in the bushes to lay their arms.
Created on the 30th of November 2018 by the president of Cameroon Paul Biya, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration centers in Buea in the South West region, Bamenda in the North West region, and Mora in the Far North region host ex-fighters, train them in different trades then empower them financially before reintegration into the society.