DDR Regional Coordinator NW Withstands Sabotage of Detractors

Regional Coordinator, Gabsa Sixtus

The Regional Coordinator of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Centre in Bamenda, Gabsa Sixtus has told press that the DDR centre is calm and that ex-fighters are well taken care of, calling it a bluff for detractors who made calls insinuating that there is tension.

Press Men in a discourse with Regional Coordinator and assistant

He called a press conference on February 2nd 2021 to inform the population both at national and International levelsabout the situation of the centre, which he termed as calm, peaceful, with a serene atmosphere, contrary to false information that says all is not well.

"Contrary to the unfounded and blackmailing news that says the DDR centre is in jeopardy, consultation has been done with ex amba fighters, the security present at the centre and report sent to hierachy." Regional Coordinator for NW, Gabsa Sixtus.

"Calls came in from group of persons, detractors and spoilers, who said they got information that the centre was not fine which was false, whereas the ex-fighters are fine and peaceful" Gabsa Sixtus.

View of Entrance to the DDR Centre Bamenda, Northwest

The reason behind this press briefing stems from the echoes of the strike action ochestrated by ex-fighters in the DDR centre Southwest. Though there are challenges faced, Gabsa Sixtus told Press that all is calm at the DDR centre NW and that both centres in the NW and SW cannot share same grievances.

"We don't have a bed of roses here but we do our best to provide solutions. The children too must faulter from time to time. We try to stabilize those with traumatic disorders and provide education. We build Competences by giving them assistance based on the nature of their problems."

Other ex-fighters at the centre shared their thoughts with the civiclens. Ex-fighter whose name we got as Beatrice said she joined the DDR centre because her partner left her, decided to drop arms and she began facing threats

"I joined the centre following the example of my partner with whom I had a baby with while in the bush. I was threatened because of the decision he took while we were still in the bush and I had no choice but to join him at the centre. Alot of things have changed with my stay at the DDR Centre, especially with the activities we have engaged in to build our moral". Beatrice said.

Godlove Bonji called General shadow in Dongamantung has been fighting for 3years. He decided to lay down arms and is 2weeks old at the DDR centre in Bamenda.

" I am happy with the way things have folded so far at the centre. This is contrary to the believe of my boys who told me we will be killed for putting up a fight with government. They were afraid but I have made it here with my 2 wives and 4 children" Godlove Bonji, Ex-fighter.

"I plead with government to put more efforts in providing ressources and hastening the reintegration process, so that more fighters will leave the bush. Life is hard and frustrating there, reason why the fighters in the bushes now feed on means of kidnapping, extorting and stealing." Ex-fighter talking to Press.

Created on November 30th 2018, the DDR Centres have been under the supivesory authourity of Fai Yengo Francis, managing the reintegration of fighters willing to drop their arms.

Since its creation, the centre in the NW has haboured over 250 ex-fighters, reintegrated 32 ex-fighters in a parapublic institution. Trained 16 ex-fighters in the field of driving while others joined the centre with competences in capentary, building and electricity who now do some work while at the DDR centre.

Over 20 ex-fighters are said to have joined the DDR centre in 2021, while others are being tracked based on their willingness to join the centre in the days ahead.

27 women, 23 children, 4 deliveries have taken place at the centre, and 15 support staff are at the DDR centre. The government provides adequate financial ressources for the care of these ex-fighters at the DDR Centres, provide security, basic toiletairies, medical control/ attention.

The infastructure constructed at the Bamenda airport will be equiped to contain; 6 workshops, refectories, domitaries, kitchen, Chapel, infirmerie, offices, and residence area. As administration looks foward to turn the DDR centre into a multipurpose vocational training centre.

By Ndefru Mélanie


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