Cameroon’s National Gendarmerie, one of the components of the country’s national defence and security forces, has received equipment from France in what authorities says is a boost to the central African nation’s fight against terrorism.
The items include four DJI Phantom drones, 20 JG Airsoft AK-47 rifles and their accessories to be used for training, 100 bullet-resistant jackets, 50 heavy armour helmets, and six pairs of binoculars, among others.
The Internal Security attaché at the French embassy in Cameroon, Colonel Christian Broudin, handed the equipment over on behalf of the Ambassador Christophe Guilhou during a ceremony on 28 May at the Command Centre for Gendarmerie Schools and Training in Yaounde.
The donation was made under the auspices of the Directorate of Cooperation and Defence and Security (DCSD), a major arm of France’s diplomatic actions, according to information from the French embassy in Yaounde.
“The equipment donated will be used to fight against terrorism. It forms part of the excellent security cooperation between the French and Cameroonian Gendarmeries,” read part of a statement by the National Gendarmerie after reception of the equipment.
Cameroon is currently facing major security threats in about six of its ten administrative regions.
Mixed troops are battling Boko Haram militants in the Far North of the country, incursions in the East by rebels from neighbouring Central African Republic, highway robbery and kidnappings for ransoms in the North and Adamawa regions and, for the last three years, an armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions where militiamen are fighting to create a breakaway state from the rest of Cameroon.
France has for a long time accorded security support to Cameroon. In 2019, the country restated its resolve to continue its security collaboration with Cameroon, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll saying in a daily briefing in February that such support is specifically directed towards the fight against terrorism.