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.

Economic woes
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.

Increased security
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

border surveillance.
Cameroon is working with the four African nations plus the United States,

France, China and Germany in a new regional African effort against the

extreme Islamists.
Boko Haram has been working to impose Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria.

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