Cameroon’s General Philip Mpay Oversees Graduation Of Over 900 BIR Soldiers

May 27, 2024

Graduated BIR soldiers

By Francis Tim Mbom

Some over 900 trained soldiers have joined Cameroon’s Rapid Intervention Battalion known by the French acronym BIR after a graduation ceremony that took place on May 24.

The ceremony in Limbe was presided at by Cameroon’s Army General in Charge of the Military and Para-military Training Schools, Brigadier General Philip Mpay. 

The General, who was accompanied by other top Commanders of the BIR and Military, presided at the graduation ceremony of some 924 young military officers of the Rapid Intervention Battalion Force, the BIR, and soldiers from other military units.

Lt. Colonel Tapele Oumarou
Lt. Colonel Tapele Oumarou

According to Lt. Colonel Tapele Oumarou who is in Charge of Training at the BIR Training Centre at Man O War Bay, it was a dual graduating ceremony involving two categories of soldiers who had completed five months of intensive training which began on January 6, 2024. The graduating soldiers were all rewarded with end-of-course certificates.

Lt. Colonel Tapele disclosed that a total of 682 BIR Commandos started the training on January 6 to gain skills for the Technical Aptitude Certificate N0 2 abbreviated CAT2 in French while the other 261 others (among them soldiers from other military units), were trained to obtain the Technical Aptitude Certificate N0. 3, code-named CAT3.

“Today, we are celebrating the end of training courses for the Certificate of Technical Aptitude N0. 3, Joint Army, in its 5th session and the 11th session of Technical Aptitude N0.2 which were training to qualify our soldiers to become more operational and better,” Lt. Colonel Tapele said.

It should be mentioned that these non-commissioned officers, some of whom held the rank of corporal and others of sergeant, had prior experience serving in the BIR or the armed forces. The training’s primary goal, as the lieutenant colonel said, was to equip the soldiers with the knowledge and abilities needed to command an entire military unit or organization.

“This training that is ending today, a special emphasis was put on giving the trainees technical, tactical, and pedagogic lessons.”

The General, other top Commanders of the BIR and Military pose for a picture
The General, other top Commanders of the BIR and Military pose for a picture

After the five months of training, he stated that the soldiers were now better equipped to protect and ensure the security of all Cameroonians and to guarantee that the Country is at peace.

Staff Sergeant Embe Jean Paul Cedric, having already been in the military for ten years, happens to be one of the graduating soldiers who earned a CAT3 certificate.

“During the training, we were given some tactical and professional skills on how to better protect our fatherland and our people in times of war or peace.” 

Another graduating trainee, Kenfack Fabrice, a Corporal, had this to add:

“Besides the technical and tactical skills that we had, we were also given lessons in international humanitarian law to permit us to be able to protect the people at all times.”

The ceremony was highlighted by the special award of certificates to the best five in each of the two graduating categories. Their certificates were conferred to them by the General himself and other top military and BIR Commanders who were present during the ceremony.


The BIR Is The People’s Force!


An excellent delegation of Fako Chiefs, led by HRH Chief Otto Molungu Molive of Batoke, the President of the Fako Chiefs Conference, attended the occasion. Other notables and the families of the graduates attended the event as well. Lt. Colonel Tapele stated that the purpose of the Chiefs’ and the populace’s invitation was to demonstrate the unique relationship the BIR has with the people about their mandate to guarantee their safety and tranquility.

In reaction, Chief Otto Molive had this to say: 

“First of all I have to thank the elite force, the BIR, for having invited us, the Fako Chiefs…Yes, it is very very important that the population should work together with the military to make sure there is peace in our nation, to make sure there is harmony and understanding in-between the forces and the population.”

The General was received at the Limbe III SubDivision for the ceremony by the DO, Verklin Epolewane, who also took part an active part in the ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a display of the iconic military march past by the graduate forces.