The state-run Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), is calling for thousands of plantation workers who fled the country’s separatist conflict to return to work.

About half the company’s 20,000 workers left more than four years ago over unpaid wages and after deadly and brutal attacks. The company last week said it was safe to return, but workers are skeptical and say it should first rebuild homes destroyed or damaged in the conflict. The CDC said it wants thousands of workers back at banana, palm oil, and rubber plantations in the restive Southwest region.

Managers of the state-run giant on Monday visited towns and villages in the region to meet with workers who fled unrest in 2018 and ask them to return. Cameroon Agricultural and Allied Workers Trade Union President Gabriel Mbene Vefonge, who was part of the delegation, said the corporation has promised to pay back wages to those workers who return.

CDC general manager Franklin Ngoni Njie said if the remaining 8,000 workers return, the company’s sales will return to previous levels. He said they would then be able to afford paying back salaries and reconstructing destroyed buildings


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