By Mua Patrick
In all frankness and honesty, the Prime Minister, Head of Government met with various groups in the South West Regions to look at the path covered so far on the road to achieving sustainable peace in both regions as well as received other suggestions on what needs to be done ahead.
The trip to Buea came two years after the holding of the Major National Dialogue in Yaounde where delegates drawn from the various corners of the country arrived at far-reaching recommendations.
Two years on, these recommendations are gradually being put in place as the follow up committee unveiled a series of actions which have already been implemented for the benefit of the populations of the North West and South West Regions.
Several actions have been taken to accelerate local governance and decentralisation, notably the promulgation in December 2019 of Law 2019/024 on the General Code of Decenralised Local Authorities.
This paved the way for the election and setting up of Regional Assemblies and Special Status conferred to the North West and South West Regions. To ensure the proper functioning of these councils, FCFA 30 billion was allocated pursuant to instructions from the Head of State. President Paul Biya has equally proceeded with the appointment and installation of Public Independent Concilliators of the North West and South West Regions. The National School of Local Administration was equally created to train staff in local administration.
One of the main recommendations of the Major National Dialogue was the reconstruction of the two regions and that was immediately followed up with the creation of the Presidential plan for reconstruction and development.
Equally, since the Major National Dialogue, moves have been accelerated to reintegrate ex combatants by providing psychosocial support as well as the financing of several youth projects for the DDR centres in the Far North, North West and South West Regions.
On the other hand, the Emergency Humanitarian Plan continues to be implemented to sucour internally displaced persons and refugees through the distribution of relief to over 3000 IDPs and about 600 former refugees.
Even before the Major National Dialogue, several measures have either been taken or been on course to address the grievances of teachers and lawyers.
Situation On The Ground
The measures taken by government to address the concerns of the populations of the North West and South West Regions are inexhausive and have had an impact to a certain level and certain areas of the troubled regions.
However, despite these measures, the situation of the ground blow of hot and cold air with sporadic clashes, ghost towns, road blocks and lock downs occasionally paralysing activities ins some localities in the two regions. Statistics on the ground show life has steadily improved since the Major National Dialogue with the number of children returning to school in that part of the country this academic year witnessing a sharp increase. Even participation at the end of year exams have also witnessed a sharp increase.
According to the follow up committee for the implementation of the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue, economic activities are gradually picking up in the two regions