Military-civilian collaboration: possible panacea to armed conflict

It is but essential that the powers that be leave no stone unturned to create an enabling environment where the same military-civilian cooperation that helped weaken Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North region be initiated in the restive Anglophone Regions.

Cameroon has recorded remarkable results in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency the Far North region. Though vigilance and continued effort is required to completely stamp out the Nigeria-based Islamists fighters and lock them up in the black books of history, the world wouldn’t be making a mistake to give three cheers to the collaboration soldiers and civilians in Cameroon engaged in, to end the activities of the group on the national territory and curtail the further recruitment of manipulated youngsters. Highlight is more often than not, placed on the excellence of the Armed Forces, which thanks to the clairvoyant nature of its Chief, President Paul Biya was reorganized to effectively fight against the terrorists with new posts created, commanders and means provided to tackle the nebulous forces.

But then again, as the Head of State has demonstrated through words and concrete actions, citizens equally deserve a red feather for their contributions as they get ready to support the Armed Forces on the National Day (May 20) and to demonstrate rekindled commitment and loyalty to their leader. President Biya has not only commended the efforts and bravery of Vigilance Committees in the Far North region, but has on several occasions, ordered the provision of compensation to families of those fallen from the weapons of the terrorists. Free medical assistance has also been provided for citizens injured while trying to defend the national territory.

One may not be forgiven for forgetting so soon, how citizens from all corners of the North, West, South and East of the country contributed both in kind and cash in 2014 to support soldiers facing the enemy at the war front. The contributions, it should be recalled, came on the behest of President Paul Biya who made it crystal clear that the protection of the national integrity and invaluable peace in the country is the duty of every citizen.

As citizens prepare to celebrate national unity at a time when it is being threatened by armed groups in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, it is but essential that the powers that be leave no stone unturned to create an enabling environment where the same military-civilian cooperation that helped weaken Boko Haram insurgency the Far North be created in the restive Anglophone Regions.

There’s no gain saying the fact that citizens in their majority are wishing that the wanton killings and destruction of properties the North West and South West regions should end as soon as possible.

It is equally important to acknowledge the fact that the governor of the North West region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique during an evaluation meeting in April, made a call in this direction when he opined that soldiers need to create a new fellowship with citizens.

Besides creating vigilante groups that would identify and intercept strangers in the affected communities as proposed by some South West region elite of the ruling CPDM party last year, citizens could also be sensitized on how to help soldiers through intelligence gathering and other assistance they may need.

Waineng Wanmbui

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