Conflict in North West, South West Regions: Defence Minister Assesses Field Situation

Crise Anglophone. Conflict in North West, South West Regions: Defence Minister Assesses Field Situation

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Joseph Beti Assomo during a two-day working visit to some conflict zones July 12 to 13, 2018, hailed the initiative and bravery of the defence forces report CT.

It took two days for the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo to brave the odds and inaugurate a series of working visits to some conflict zones of the country's English Speaking regions of the South West and North West.

The visit falls in line with prescriptions of the Head of State in his capacity as Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces who has always wished to know the exact situation on  the ground.

Against this backdrop,  the defence boss, accompanied by top military officials headed by the Army Chief of Staff, General Rene Claude Meka, had working visits in three main areas; one in the South West where he visited the Command Post of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (B.I.R.)  and a unit of the Motorised Infantry Brigade (B.R.I.M) located at Small Ekombe along the Kumba-Ekondo Titi Road in Meme Division and two in the North West, notably Batibo in Momo Division and Belo in Boyo Division.

The choice of the areas visited was certainly not by chance. Meme Division, in general, is one of the hottest areas where separatists have operated almost in continuum leading to  deaths and constant exchange of gun fire with the defence forces. In this area, many inhabitants have fled their homes and taken refuge in neighbouring villages.

Armed secessionists in turn occupy abandoned houses from where they launch attacks on the army. One of such attacks occurred during the working visit where they had the courage to launch an attack on the convoy of the Minister.

Many assailants are said to have lost their lives in the attack  that met with immediate response from the defence forces in the little locality of Small Ekombe.

That incident did not however discourage the Minister and his team who braved the hurdles and continued with their programme of visit to the North West Region. This in essence, signified the commitment of the military and a translation of the interest of the Head of State to bring peace to the two regions.
While in the North West Region, Minister Beti Assomo and his team was joined by the Governor of the Region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique.

Two areas; Batibo in Momo Division and Belo in Boyo Division caught the attention of the Minister, by virtue of the continuous armed conflicts that have characterised the areas.

Memories remain fresh on the kidnapping of the Divisional Officer for Batibo as well as the Regional Delegate for Social Affairs. In Belo and other areas in Boyo, armed conflicts have sent the population packing and escaping for their dear lives.

The Region Commander for the North West was particularly hailed for his ability to personalise the battle against armed separatists. Governor Lele Lafrique, on his part, briefed the Minister on the existing collaboration between the civilian population and the military underscoring the need to deepen such cooperation.

All along his evaluation visit, Minister Beti Assomo noted with satisfaction the collaboration between the civil and military authorities. The positive results obtained so far are the consequence of the strict implementation of the Combined Forces Concept born out of the 2001 reforms.

This concept entails getting all arms of the forces on deck for better results. In all, the visit to the two regions enabled the Minister to understand the challenges on the field in order to find palpable solutions.

It was equally an occasion for him to reiterate the message of the Head of State who continues to express satisfaction on the "patriotism of the defence forces.".


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