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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid