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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs