Cameroon: Bamenda DDR Center - Varied Opportunities for Ex-Combatants

The Bamenda- based Center for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, that now enrolls some 52 Ex-Combatants offers varied gainful opportunities for fighters who drop guns and leave bushes.

It is on the strength of a Presidential Decree of November 30, 2018 that the Bamenda- based Center for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration was created to give peace a chance in the face of the ongoing, socio - political and security crisis rocking the North West and South West regions. From the look of things; it is the Center of Opportunities for Ex-Combatants who drop guns and leave the bushes for more gainful life. The first recruits of the Center are traced to December 27, 2018 when two Ex- Combatants were received from Oku-Bui Division. Ten months after, the Center now enrolls 52 Ex-Combatants receiving professional skills in the process of moulding them into new persons with a new frame of mind. The Coordinator of the Center, Gabsa Sixtus told CT that the facility offers opportunities in mainly Agricultural disciplines for now, especially in Poultry rearing, pig rearing and gardening. Shoe mending is also on the time table and in about two weeks; the Center will feature new programmes in cosmetology. It is all about training in the production of rubbing oil, perfumes, detergents etc. Tailoring and hairdressing trades are equally considered for the weeks ahead with a staff strength of about 12 Agricultural Technicians and support Staff on duty.

On-the-spot, at the Center, it is evident that the recent visit of Prime Minister, Head of government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute gave more visibility and caused some doubting Thomase's to believe in the reality and effectiveness of the Center. The Coordinator, Gabsa Sixtus sounds off that the future is promising with networking initiatives that inspire hope especially with the National Dialogue called by the Head of State. Psychosocial training and financial assistance equally feature on the agenda of the Center, all aimed at helping the EX- Combatants to reintegrate society for gainful life.

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