News / Africa

Cameroon Continues Boko Haram Crackdown

Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.
Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.

Cameroon's military has killed 10 suspected Boko Haram members along its northern border with Nigeria and arrested 50 Nigerian businessmen in Cameroon for allegedly collaborating with the militants.  Cameroon's crackdown is gaining intensity as Boko Haram has intensified its attacks in its native Nigeria. 

The latest clash between Cameroon's military and suspected Boko Haram militants took place in Mora, along the border with Nigeria's Borno state, the heart of the five year old Boko Haram insurgency.
Mora resident and businessman Bevina Paul described witnessing Wednesday's attack.
He said "look over there, a few kilometers from here, it is Nigeria.  We heard people dancing and singing like in a wedding feast."  He said that was when shooting and explosions suddenly started.
It appears the militants may have either disguised themselves as a wedding party ahead of the attempted attack on Cameroon's military post or used civilian members of a wedding party as a distraction.  
The military says in addition to killing some of the militants, it confiscated vehicles, a large quantity of weapons, and detained dozens of Nigerians on suspicion of aiding Boko Haram.
Colonel Chioka Pierre told VOA they have been conducting sweeps as part of an intensified crackdown on violent incidents believed to be connected to Boko Haram.
He said they have been searching more than half a dozen border villages to prevent incursions or to stop militants from using Cameroon as a hideout or launching pad for attacks.  He said local residents were cooperating with the military to root out Boko Haram suspects in the area.


Residents said for some time there have been strange faces in their villages.   And some feared Boko Haram may be recruiting young, unemployed people in Cameroon.
Bipong Dennis is a local resident.  "We are seeing most of our graduates every year having no jobs.  Tell me, if somebody comes and proposes a high sum of money to join this organization, most youths are desperate.  They will be forced to do everything to get into these extremist activities," said Dennis.


Boko Haram
  • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
  • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
  • Began in 2002 as a non-violent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed thousands since 2010
  • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
  • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law

Military spokesman, Colonel Didier Badjeck, acknowledged Boko Haram has become a serious threat in northern Cameroon.
He said the security situation in north Cameroon is getting worse and Boko Haram was a very real threat in terms of recruiting young people, killing, looting and stealing.
Fear and suspicion are taking a sectarian turn, with some locals associating the threat with religion, given Boko Haram's Islamist agenda.
Pegui Manga is a teacher.  "I feel threatened.  When I see a Muslim around me I feel threatened.  They are a threat and every other person that passes around us dressed as a Muslim or is identified as a Muslim is a potential threat," said Manga.
In the past week, Cameroon's military also detained 40 suspected Boko Haram militants in Maroua and sealed off a market where they suspect Boko Haram may be hiding arms.
The intensified crackdown comes as Boko Haram carries out daily deadly attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria.  Nigeria's president has vowed to crush the Islamist insurgency and is getting assistance from other countries, including the United States.  

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 27, 2014 2:51 PM
Now I wish I was a Cameroonian. The big brother Nigeria has failed in all facets - rebasing of economy which is nobody's effort cannot make for the fallacy in the Jonathan's administration. See what little brother Cameroon is doing - sheer resolve and determination: are there no muslims in Cameroon? Are there no Hausas, Fulanis, Kanem Bornu, Igbiras, etc? Why has Nigeria been singled out to suffer the misfortune of having these wicked souls? Look at a picture of the bomb blast victims in hospital and understand what level of pain these satanic souls are inflicting on humanity - just because they are fed with satanic verses. Thank God Paul Biya is not from South South of Nigeria, it would have been one useless promise after another without an action. Thank God that Paul Biya is not from the academia - he would have thought that leadership is all about sitting at Aso Rock to read statements written by another person that is as quickly forgotten as the reader leaves the podium. Or he would also have tried to mimic some orator who does not read from papers - but you see how he'd bring the words out like a teacher dictating for students in a phonetics class.

Kudos Paul Biya. Kudos Cameroon. It is heartening to see one country that stands up to its bidding. If Nigeria were to be sincere to its promises to fight insecurity...! See how 50 (that number is staggering) Nigerians in Cameroon have compromised themselves by sponsoring boko haram at home. Are they that so unfeeling? I wish Cameroon government will hand them the capital punishment for this evil. I can only appeal that after Cameroon has finished filtering its borders, it will send the same 1000 soldiers only to Nigeria to teach the Nigerian Army the art of keeping a sovereign state like Nigeria safe and secure.

by: Richard walla from: Douala Cameroon
June 27, 2014 5:53 AM
I am very disappointed and disturbed with the way our government is handling the issue of youth unemployment . Many youths have graduated from the various Universities and lack jobs, consequently, these insurgent groups go around recruiting these youths for ransoms to carry out such barbaric acts. moreover, meritocracy has been thrown to dogs in our contert, favouritism, tribalism and all the isms that you can image has been planted by the power that be.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs