News / Africa

After Boko Haram Attacks, More Security for Senior Cameroon Officials

FILE - Cameroon's army soldiers deploy against the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in Dabanga, northern Cameroon, June 17, 2014.
FILE - Cameroon's army soldiers deploy against the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in Dabanga, northern Cameroon, June 17, 2014.

In Nigeria, when virtually any official travels, they move in large security convoys. Their homes are heavily fortified. With a recent spate of kidnappings by Boko Haram in Cameroon, now that country’s government is following the Nigerian example.

Combat-ready soldiers of the elite corps, the rapid intervention battalion, have assembled to accompany Cameroon Minister of Tourism Bouba Bello Maigari and his delegation on a visit to northern regions that share a boundary with Nigeria. The military spokesman, Colonel Didier Badjeck, said it has been a routine activity for the military since Boko Haram started attacking Cameroon.

Badjeck said it is soldiers’ responsibility to respond proportionately to increasing insecurity, and that they cannot work as dictated by public opinion but must be directed by the challenges ahead of them.

Minister Maigari said the presence of the military assures them of safety should Boko Haram attack.

"We can continue to trust our armed forces, and at the same time to back the armed forces, to back fully, totally our armed forces," said Maigari.

The decision to provide a military escort for officials visiting north Cameroon was taken after Boko Haram adopted targeted assassinations, kidnappings and hostage-taking.

In the past two years the group has targeted local chiefs and influential clerics, as well as kidnapping both locals and foreigners.

Last month they attacked the home of Ahmadou Ali, Cameroon's deputy prime minister, and kidnapped his wife after killing soldiers who guarded his residence. The vice prime minister himself narrowly escaped the attack.

Most drivers in the large security convoys accompanying ministers are military men.

This has angered some drivers of senior state functionaries, who receive additional allowances when they travel with their bosses.

Drivers’ trade union activist Andre Engoulou said drivers who can no longer go on missions with their bosses because of the Boko Haram threat should be compensated financially.

Captain Hamman Djibril, who is in charge of the military protection unit for state officials, said Cameroon has also fortified security around the residences of its senior state workers and traditional rulers.

He said that for now, they have to assure the safety of senior workers because they are the ones targeted by Boko Haram and that very soon, using the means available, they will see what they can do as far as providing protection for all chiefs that have requested it.

Reacting to complaints that Cameroon is spending huge sums of money to protect state officials and leaving the population of some villages on their own, Djibril said that because of the increasing need to protect people, they have deployed additional troops to accompany travelers on public transport buses.

He said the difficulty they have is that when the assailants notice that there is a soldier in a public transport bus, they shoot indiscriminately and kill innocent travellers.

The attackers continue to show increasing sophistication in their ability to mount coordinated attacks, as they have always done in Nigeria.

Despite Cameroon's effort to protect the officials and travelers, Boko Haram last Wednesday attacked a security convoy.

The assailants killed two soldiers and nine civilians, exposing their gorged bodies along the road.

They also abducted two sons belonging to the chief of Zigué Zigagué, a locality in the Logone and Chari Division, and the elder brother to the chief of Waza, as well as a police officer.

Two of the attackers were killed. 

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs