If the number of peace-keeping missions and the men and women often put on such challenging assignments are anything to rely on, then one would say Cameroon’s defence and security forces are going places on the international front. In fact, their continual presence and valuable contributions in stabilising life where they go to, aptly tells of their prowess in standing taller than the hitches that come with such tasks. The assignments are more so demanding given the nature of the terrain (sometimes unknown) and the type of battle they are faced with - often guerrilla warfare.
Triumphing over these and other field difficulties to continually merit the confidence of those who make the choice on which forces to go to what United Nations peace-keeping mission is arguably a red feather on the cap of the country’s defence and security forces. As a matter of fact, it shows the proficiency with which the men and women sent to such missions exercise their duties. Common sense teaches that had there been serious issues undermining their conduct and travails, the nation’s security intelligence wouldn’t have been this solicited.
To say the least, having already the seventh contingent of Cameroonian defence and security forces in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic as is the case now, is no doubt a show of recognition of their devotedness and clairvoyance summed up in one word - professionalism.
That of the 11,200 UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic each year, Cameroon provides 1,150 of them, tells the story better. Receiving the national colours from the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence at the Pre-deployment Peacekeeping Operations Training Centre of Motcheboum, Upper-Nyong Division, in the Eastern Region, yesterday September 15, 2020 was a high mark of State blessings to the tried and tested men and women, called upon to strive for excellence like their predecessors.
Doing so on the high instructions of the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces depicts the importance the highest authority of the land gives to sub regional stability. Peace, we all know, is an indispensable tool for any meaningful socio-economic development and no one would love to toy with it at a time the entire sub region and individual nations are dreaming big on attaining a higher level of growth with shared gains.
Besides respecting the age-old tradition of commissioning flagbearers on a national or international assignments, yesterday’s ceremony in the East Region had a two-fold connotation: Pouring State’s sanctification on sons and daughters called upon to project the integrity and excellence of the national defence and security forces as well as putting fire off a neighbour’s house. Obviously so as no reasonable leader, with a notion of good neighbourliness, can afford to show indifference to a neighbour in difficulties. For, stabilising CAR equals ensuring tranquillity in Cameroon given the proximity of the two Central African countries which makes chaos a common enemy irrespective of where it originates.
The fresh Cameroonian contingent therefore has an uphill task of consolidating the reputation as they contribute their quota, alongside other forces and stakeholders, in trying to find a peaceful resolution to the long-drawn conflict. Stopping the killings, protecting civilians and providing humanitarian relief, as their task entails, is no doubt tough, but noble at least. Their legendary aptitude in safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity which has remained inviolable in the face of multifaceted battles is thus expected to be a galvanising factor as the men and women in uniform gun for excellence in the peace-keeping operation in CAR.
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