By Doh Bertrand Nua
Cameroonian authorities have begun exchanging ideas with their counterparts of Nigeria on how repentant combatants of the Boko Haram terrorist sect from Nigerian origin, resident in Cameroonian soil can be repatriated to their country.
A working session to this effect held in Cameroon’s Far North region September 1. The meeting brought together Governor Midjiyawa Bakari of Cameroon while a 24-man Nigerian delegation was led by the Vice Governor of Borno State, Umar Usman Kadafur.
Usman Kadafur thanked the government of Cameroon for her hospitality extended to all the repentant fighters in general, and those of Nigerian origin in particular. The officials visited the Meri transmission Centre where the Deputy Borno State Governor particularly expressed his appreciation for all that is being done to support the ex-combatants.
Usman Kadafur used the visit to the centre to donate 200 bags of rice and financial support of nearly 6 million FCFA to the ex-fighters at the centre.
Governor Midjiyawa of Cameroon revealed that it was agreed that the ex-fighters could begin to return to their country by the end of the rainy season. This visit comes on the heels of the 8th Cameroon-Nigeria Cross Border Security Committee that rounded up August 26 in Abuja.
Both governments at the end of the security meeting renewed their commitment and strategies to thwart all attempts from secessionists and terrorists groups that threatens peace along the air, land and seas borders of both countries.
There has been an influx of repentant fighters joining the DDR transmission centre in the Far North of recent. At least 400 fighters dropped their weapons and joined reintegration centre in Merifew weeks back.
According to Oumar Bichaïr, Regional Coordinator of DDR Centre in Cameroon, a total of 1,039 Nigerian nationals at the transit camp at Meri. Officials had few weeks back revealed that there are a total of 1127 ex-fighters at the centre.
DDR experts believe the rivalry between the Boko Haram members and the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWA, has thrown confusion within the ranks of the fighters sending them to run helter skelter.
This, they said, adds to the serious fight that has been put up by the defence and security fighters which has considerable weakened Boko Haram, leaving the combatants with no option than to flee.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Africanian News.