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Soldiers Again Threaten Cameroon Gov’t Over Unpaid Dues 

By Basil Afoni

 Hundreds of Cameroonian soldiers who served in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) have given the government here an October 12 deadline to pay their dues or face unspecified consequences, reports Koaci.com.

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The soldiers, who claim to be owed months in unpaid allowances for their participation in the mission that started in 2014, already held a demonstration over the issue in Cameroon’s capital city Yaounde on September 9.

“The president of the Republic returned to Cameroon on September 12, 2015 and we are still awaiting the outcome of payment of our premiums for the mission of the United Nations (MINUSCA). If this payment is not executed before October 12, 2015, we will not [demonstrate] again, but we will make ourselves heard in any other way that will be surprising to many. It’s big money,” Koaci.com quotes the soldiers are saying.

According to the report, seven BBR (Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion) soldiers who participated in the September 9 demonstration were summoned to the division of military security in Yaoundé (SEMIL). It is believed they were questioned over the demonstration, although no details of the interrogation have yet emerged.

During last month’s demonstration, the soldiers who helped restore some degree of peace in neighbouring Central African Republic, marched to the Prime Minister’s Office and National Assembly demanding the payment of their dues.

It was thanks to the intervention of Defence Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o that the soldiers returned to the barracks. Cameroon’s President Paul Biya also ordered the payment of the allowances. However, that is yet to happen.

With the recent resurgence of violence in the Central African Republic, the UN will be expecting Cameroon to deploy a fresh batch soldiers in the country to contribute to international efforts to calm down the violence between Christians and Muslims that began in 2013.

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