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Cameroon: Reconstruction Stories Fails to Lure Traditional Rulers to Restive Regions
Category :- Politics Author :- L J KINGAH 
Posted on May 9, 2020, 7:27 am
(4 Ratings)

The Government of Cameroon this week in a bit to start the reconstruction of the restive north west and south west regions of Cameroon, called on the many traditional rulers who fled war threats to return home. They were assured that the destroyed palaces, markets, schools and roads would be reconstructed, but they have refused.

These traditional rulers and/or chief denied the request on the basis that, the fighting between government soldiers and Ambazonian fighters is still a big threat.

cameroon crisis

In response to the worries of the rulers, Deben Tchoffo, governor northwest region, said that the government is ready to ensure that they are being protected from fighters they return home. He said, "They should not be afraid. Instead of running, they should come back to face the realities," He added that, "The population are there, eagerly waiting, longing to see them. Some of them have gone [been out of their palaces] for many years. They are awaited on the spot.

According to the governor he is on ground and they are there for the rulers’ security. “We are there, and we are there to secure them. Whatever will happen, we are there to stand by them, to support them and accompany them." said governor Tchoffo.

dion ngute

It should be noted that it was after these traditional rulers were being accused by separatists of supporting the military and disclosing their hideouts to soldiers that most of them fled for safety. Other chiefs were on the other hand accused by the military and arrested for supporting the separatists. As such many fled their kingdoms because they were caught in the middle of the forces

According to report by VOA at least nine traditional rulers have been killed; one of the driving forces for the rulers flees for safety.  Others were abducted on ransoms. Two dozen palaces were partially or totally torched.

cameroon chiefs

For Jonathan Baye, a historian at the University of Yaoundé, to be safe in their villages, these chiefs need neutral among the three groups; their populations, separatist fighters, and the military. He said, "the chiefs should give confidence about their neutrality because it is usually on those things that they are attacked or they are accused.’ He equally added that, "They should begin by making their people to know that they [the people] can count on them [the chiefs]. They should begin by creating this confidence."

Jean Luc Stalon, United Nations Development Program representative to Cameroon said that reconstruction amidst war was going to be difficult in the concerned region.

cameroon traditional rulers

Stalon said, "We know it is going to be a bumpy road rebuilding social cohesion, rebuilding the local economy that has been damaged by the crisis, to facilitate access of the population to basic services, education, health, water and so forth. It is not going to be easy to implement this program in those two regions."

Meanwhile, Separatists have reportedly taken a stand that any of such reconstruction can only commence after the demilitarization of the regions by the Government and a “sincere dialogue”.  


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