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A Moving National ‘Cry-Die’

Politique
Nkendem FORBINAKE | 06-02-2017 16:58

The presence of the Supreme Commander at the Yaounde Atemengue plateau are not scarce, but he is usually there for more happy moments such as graduating ceremonies for cadet officers from the Yaounde Combined Services Military Academy; but hardly for ceremonies honouring fallen soldiers. In fact the last such outing was in April 1984 when he came to honour victims of the coup d’etat attempt of infamous reputation. For most of Friday, the ceremonial grounds of the headquarters brigade carried a beleaguered snapshot. From as early as 8 am, sympathizers, including close relatives and loved ones of the four officers as well as officials from government, the military and the diplomatic corps had begun trickling into the wide quadrangle which serves as ground for important ceremonies for this important unit of the Cameroonian armed forces. Before President Paul Biya’s arrival at 11 am the official tribune as well as a more spacious tribune for other guests, was packed full with attendees stretching a broad spectrum of State authority and representation. You could spot the Senate President, the National Assembly Speaker, the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, the armed forces (including a very noticeable delegation of defence attachés of various missions accredited to Yaounde), the clergy and even a delegation of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, led by its Commander, Nigeria’s Major General Adeosun who made the trip from his Ndjamena headquarters.
The President was greeted on his arrival by the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo and then the ceremony proper, full of military details difficult to depict in a written paper, could effectively start. A decree of the President of the Republic raising the deceased officers posthumously to higher ranks was read out. Thus, Brigadier Jacob Kodji was raised to the rank of Major General while Gendarmerie Colonel Alphonse Nkameni was raised to Brigadier. The two Flying Officers of the Air force, Aurelien Brice Mu Takam and Basile Souloukna Ngrassou were raised to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The Minister of Defence, Beti Assomo; the Secretary of State for the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam; the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs, Koumpa Issa and the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rene Claude Méka respectively affixed the new ranks on the national flags that covered the different coffins. Then the Supreme Commander personally stepped down from the rostrum to place the medal of “Cameroon Cross of Military Valour with the citation of the Nation” on the coffins of the two General Officers and that of the “Cameroon Cross of Military Valour with the citation of the Army” on the coffins of the two junior Officers. The ceremony took an emotional twist when the Head of State went to a corner to meet members of the various families, to personally extend his commiseration. He gave words of encouragement to the widows and fondly extending his affection to the orphaned children and other family members present. The President then headed for the rostrum with the first words coming: “What a sad and painful day, 22 January 2017! Four brave officers of our armed forces returning from an assignment perished in a helicopter crash. This is a brutal and irreparable loss.” The Head of State, understandably told members of the families of the deceased that he shared their pain and promised to remain close to them. But, above all, he said the tribute being paid to the fallen soldiers was also extended to all the others who have sacrificed their lives for the fatherland. “We will forever remember their sacrifice,” he told the mournful crowd at the ceremony. The bodies were then taken out of the ceremonial grounds amidst wailing for the final journey to the respective birthplaces of the deceased officers.

 

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 The Head of State and Supreme Commander of the armed forces chaired a special ceremony last Friday at Army Headquarters to honour the four officers who perished in a helicopter crash last January 22, 2017.

The presence of the Supreme Commander at the Yaounde Atemengue plateau are not scarce, but he is usually there for more happy moments such as graduating ceremonies for cadet officers from the Yaounde Combined Services Military Academy; but hardly for ceremonies honouring fallen soldiers. In fact the last such outing was in April 1984 when he came to honour victims of the coup d’etat attempt of infamous reputation. For most of Friday, the ceremonial grounds of the headquarters brigade carried a beleaguered snapshot. From as early as 8 am, sympathizers, including close relatives and loved ones of the four officers as well as officials from government, the military and the diplomatic corps had begun trickling into the wide quadrangle which serves as ground for important ceremonies for this important unit of the Cameroonian armed forces. Before President Paul Biya’s arrival at 11 am the official tribune as well as a more spacious tribune for other guests, was packed full with attendees stretching a broad spectrum of State authority and representation. You could spot the Senate President, the National Assembly Speaker, the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, the armed forces (including a very noticeable delegation of defence attachés of various missions accredited to Yaounde), the clergy and even a delegation of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting the Boko Haram insurgency, led by its Commander, Nigeria’s Major General Adeosun who made the trip from his Ndjamena headquarters.
The President was greeted on his arrival by the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo and then the ceremony proper, full of military details difficult to depict in a written paper, could effectively start. A decree of the President of the Republic raising the deceased officers posthumously to higher ranks was read out. Thus, Brigadier Jacob Kodji was raised to the rank of Major General while Gendarmerie Colonel Alphonse Nkameni was raised to Brigadier. The two Flying Officers of the Air force, Aurelien Brice Mu Takam and Basile Souloukna Ngrassou were raised to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The Minister of Defence, Beti Assomo; the Secretary of State for the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam; the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs, Koumpa Issa and the Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rene Claude Méka respectively affixed the new ranks on the national flags that covered the different coffins. Then the Supreme Commander personally stepped down from the rostrum to place the medal of “Cameroon Cross of Military Valour with the citation of the Nation” on the coffins of the two General Officers and that of the “Cameroon Cross of Military Valour with the citation of the Army” on the coffins of the two junior Officers. The ceremony took an emotional twist when the Head of State went to a corner to meet members of the various families, to personally extend his commiseration. He gave words of encouragement to the widows and fondly extending his affection to the orphaned children and other family members present. The President then headed for the rostrum with the first words coming: “What a sad and painful day, 22 January 2017! Four brave officers of our armed forces returning from an assignment perished in a helicopter crash. This is a brutal and irreparable loss.” The Head of State, understandably told members of the families of the deceased that he shared their pain and promised to remain close to them. But, above all, he said the tribute being paid to the fallen soldiers was also extended to all the others who have sacrificed their lives for the fatherland. “We will forever remember their sacrifice,” he told the mournful crowd at the ceremony. The bodies were then taken out of the ceremonial grounds amidst wailing for the final journey to the respective birthplaces of the deceased officers.

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1 commentaire(s)

    biyamustgo a écrit le 2018/07/22 11:58:12 :
    Mr Absentee President was present for this one.Have you ever heard of Karma, more of them will die until they stop killing and raping our children in Southern Cameroon. The blood of those killed in southern Cameroon is crying to the Lord and more of these savage soldiers will die. They are only strong when they face peaceful and unarmed protesters. May their soul rest in pieces

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