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Home Nos activités Recherches Actions Facts and findings of a study on enrolment of youths in armed groups in Cameroon

Facts and findings of a study on enrolment of youths in armed groups in Cameroon

According to the results of the research action presented to the public November 30 at the premises of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Yaoundé Cameroon, recruiters make use of different methods such as proposing money, radicalised doctrines to create hatred against the system and probably technological and mystical means to recruit youths in their gangs.


The action research on the enrolment of youths in armed groups in Cameroon was initiated by World Dynamic of Young People in collaboration with other members’ organizations of the Civil Service for Peace programme. The studies which was carried out between March and April 2015 was to enable the understanding of the mechanisms of the enrolment of youths in Cameroon due to certain information making note of youths joining Boko Haram and to bring comprehensive elements to decision makers as well as actors of development to better fight against this phenomenon.

For this, an inquiry was done by selected and trained investigators on Christian and Muslim youths in a large majority, between the ages of 10 to 35. This was done mainly in schools, Universities, market places, stations and different popular quarters in the six regions which were the Far North, North, Adamawa, East, Centre and West regions. Investigations were carried in 36 localities in general including urban and rural areas.

According to the information gathered from the survey, a total of 975 youths were inquired amongst 46.4% were Muslims while 52.2 %Christians. 13% of them agreed on the question if they or any of their family members had already been approached by an armed group whereas 87% answered by a negation.

Answering on the motivations which can push a youth to be enrolled, money was the main factor which was given by youths as motivation for enrolment. Others include frustration due to the countries situation, religion and vengeance.

Despite the answers on the motivation, close to 60% expressed their will of never engaging themselves into such groups and more than 80% think they cannot make benefit of lasting future from these activities. It should be noted that 77.5% said the main cause of the existence of armed groups in a country is linked to governance, therefore very far from the 4.5% of whom mentioned the interference of super powers in order to control the riches of a country.

From the above explanations, these observations could be done. Firstly, the religious factor comes secondary to money therefore, breaking a stereotype of conflicts mainly been linked to the latter. Secondly, more than 40% of Muslim as well as Christian youths said they could possibly join armed groups therefore showing the will of Christian youths. Thirdly, frustrations and exclusions are favourable fields to violence. Also, the study shows a growing confidence between Cameroonians and their army therefore giving more legitimacy to the latter.  Making use of armed forces to fight these armed groups, democracy and power change should not be neglected amongst are some solutions proposed by youths who were questioned. Conclusively, lobbying and sensitization needs to be done by the civil society in order to help stop the growing of enrolment activity.

Fomekung Solomon Hope

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