Cameroon Recruiting 20,000 Defense Force To Fight Boko Haram
Cameroon says it is recruiting 20,000 more defense and security forces to
fight Boko Haram following reports that the terrorist group, based in
Nigeria, is recruiting young Cameroonians to fight for them.
Senator Haman Paul, who hails from northern Cameroon, told VOA about Boko
Haram's recruitment of young Cameroonians to fight for the creation of an
Islamist caliphate in northern Nigeria.
“That was something that we witnessed in Maroua (in Northern Cameroon).
People told us actually that they found people in town that were not
actually people that they were used to. Listen when you (the government of
Cameroon) find that one part of the country is in a very delicate
situation, you better manage prevention and facts instead of
consequences,” said Paul.
Another lawmaker from northern Cameroon, Sali Dairou, said just last week
that Boko Haram seized cattle from Cameroonian ranchers who lived along
the border with Nigeria's Borno and Adamawa states, a stronghold of the
militant group. He said the ranchers have lost thousands of cattle.
Dairou said the militants also killed some of the cattle ranchers, and
thousands of their cows went into the wild. He said this was a huge loss
and no rancher has the courage to go to the boundary with Nigeria and
bring back his remaining cattle.
Cameroon's Minister of Territorial Administration, Rene Emmanuel Sadi,
said the threat posed by Boko Haram has led many people from the border
areas to flee.
He said northern Cameroon is the hardest hit as many schools have remained
closed and people are abandoning their farms and cattle.
Sadi said Boko Haram has paralyzed trade between Cameroon and Nigeria that
has supplied 80 percent of foodstuffs and basic necessities to northern
Cameroon since the two countries gained independence more than 5 decades
He said adding to the woes of the economy of northern Cameroon is the fact
that Nigerian fuel, which is widely used, is no longer available. Business
transactions and commercial activity have been completely halted by Boko
Cameroon's Defense Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o said that besides the
economic hardship, atrocities committed by the militant group have led to
a massive movement of more than 30,000 villagers to areas of the country
away from the border.
He said fear gripped the people when Boko Haram started arresting and
publicly killing religious leaders and chiefs who collaborate with the
government of Cameroon in some villages that neighbor Nigeria's Borno
Another effect of the unrest has been that commercial banks are unable to
recover loans granted to farmers and cattle ranchers and now have decided
not to give loans to people along Cameroon's border with Nigeria.
Cameroon's Police Chief Martin Mbarga Nguelle said that in response to all
of this, the country has decided to recruit some 20,000 defense and
security forces to fight and restore security in the border areas.
He said Cameroonian president Paul Biya has instructed him to recruit
4,700 policemen this year and 5,000 next year. The military is also
recruiting at least 6,000 Cameroonian youths this year.
Cameroon joined Nigeria, Benin, Chad and Niger in sharing intelligence and
Cameroon is working with the four African nations plus the United States,
France, China and Germany in a new regional African effort against the
Boko Haram has been working to impose Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria.
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