Jean Baptiste Bokam, Secretary of State for Defense in Charge of the Gendarmerie;
Members of the Gendarmes, a brave corps of Cameroonian patriots on whose efforts the people of Cameroon depend and count on their security;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Thank you for welcoming me here today for this occasion.
I have often said that when the United States of America says “on est ensemble avec le Cameroun” we mean it in words as in deeds. Today’s program is yet another manifestation of that commitment.
I am proud to donate on behalf of the American people 24 sets of kits for counter terrorism crime scene investigations.
This equipment will provide police and gendarme investigators the ability to process terrorist incident crime scenes. It will support one of Cameroon’s security elements at the time that this nation is bravely defending itself and its citizens against Boko Haram.
In effect, our partnership is directly supporting the vision established by Cameroon to strengthen this nation’s security sector as well as the capacity of the men and women who have the sacred duty to protect this nation and her citizens. As I have said on previous occasions, Cameroonian security forces first and foremost are responsible for promoting human rights and defending their citizens. These are the essential steps in the fight against Boko Haram. When citizens have confidence and trust in their security forces, nations and their national securities benefit. And so therefore, I salute you on your efforts to serve the public and defend your homeland, this majestic land of your ancestors.
I am also proud to report that the United States trained 24 investigators of the Cameroonian gendarmes and police in terrorist crime scene investigation operations. I want to thank the leadership of the Gendarmes and the Police, for their vision, strong communication and hard work to maximize our cooperation and instill the highest values of service among their members. The training received enhances the Cameroonian security services’ ability to investigate terrorist attacks and help the military and other branches of the government stop Boko Haram bomb makers and other threats. It also strengthened the camaraderie and esprit d’corps so essential in security forces.
The fight against Boko Haram has been an arduous one for Cameroon. The war is not over, in spite of recent successes against Boko Haram. They will be defeated through your efforts and those from your neighboring countries. Then, this nation will be able to build its future through the immense talents and contributions of all citizens, including women and girls, whose efforts are necessary to truly promote development in all nations. The best way to defeat Boko Haram and violent extremism is to promote human rights, patriotism, education, opportunity, transparency, and private sector growth from Cameroonians to create needed jobs for the overwhelmingly large numbers of youth about to enter the workforce.
This nation has led many security efforts in partnership with nations in this region. I am impressed by the strengthened communications and operational ties between Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. When nations work together and share information, success in the fields of battle follow.
Allow me to reaffirm here once again, as I present this equipment that the United States of America stands with you in support of your efforts to promote a future of peace, security, and prosperity for this nation, its citizens, and future generations.
On est ensemble!