President Paul Biya said on Friday that a committee has been created to disarm fighters of terror group Boko Haram and armed separatists and to help with their reintegration into civil life.
“The committee shall be responsible for organizing, supervising and managing the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-fighters of Boko Haram and armed groups in the Northwest and Southwest regions willing to response favorably to the Head of State’s peace appeal by laying down their arms.” Biya said in a statement that was released Friday evening.
According to the 85-year old president, the committee dubbed National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee (NDDRC) will take appropriate measures to collect and destroy weapons, munitions and explosives captured from the separatist and Boko Haram fighters.
The committee will provide the ex-fighters with better means of livelihood, he said.
“(The committee will) facilitate the reintegration of ex-fighters particularly by organizing, training and providing them with tools and means of production and assistance for the creation of income generating activities” Biya said.
Boko Haram has killed nearly 2,500 Cameroonians between 2014 and 2017, according to Cameroon’s defense ministry. On Wednesday, two Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated in a busy market in Amchide of the Cameroon’s Far North region, 29 people were injured, according to the national channel CRTV.
Fighting is still intense in two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest where more than 430,000 people have been displaced internally according to the United Nations. Armed separatists are seeking to secede from the Francophone-majority Cameroon and create a new Anglophone nation called “Ambazonia.”
In early November, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration said “many” armed separatists have surrendered and asked to be reintegrated into society. Separatists said the minister’s declaration was “fake” and insisted those who surrendered were “not fighters.”