20, August 2016
The national flag was handed over to the deputy commander of the troops projected on a peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic. The Cameroonian contingent is part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission to the Central African Republic, MINUSCA.
The ceremony at the Military Headquarters was the first of its kind for Cameroonian soldiers going on an international assignment. The Minister Delegate at the Presidency, Joseph Beti Assomo said the tradition has been instituted by the Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces; a farewell and a welcome ceremony will, henceforth, be organised for soldiers before departure and upon return from international missions.
Joseph Beti Assomo indicated that the innovation was among other measures taken by the Head of State to render the soldiers more efficient and effective in preserving and promoting Cameroon’s diplomacy of peace. Prior to the send-off ceremony, the soldiers of the peacekeeping force and gendarmes of the Formed Police Units took part in pre-deployment refresher courses in Douala and Yaoundé on the notion of peacekeeping. They also signed individual contracts and their mission bonuses had an increment of two hundred thousand CFA Francs per month per person.
The Minister insisted on the respect of military discipline within the ranks expressing outrage at the strike action staged by some previous MINUSCA contingent. He added that their mission should reflect Cameroon’s foreign policy of peace and her efforts to provide sustainable peace and security in neighboring Central African Republic. In a bid to reinforce discipline, a senior officer in charge of discipline will be deployed and the military security unit will be beefed up, security and health units will also be reinforced.
The soldiers are expected to remain professional and respect UN procedures in the execution of their mission in the Central African Republic during their one year stay in the CAR. A military parade with stamina, courage and enthusiasm reminiscent of Cameroon’s military prowess marked the end of the first part of the ceremony. The soldiers and their close relatives later wined and dined with the Minister Delegate at the presidency in charge of Defence before their take off.