News / Africa

Cameroon Retakes Land from Boko Haram

FILE - A convoy of Cameroon's army soldiers as part of a reinforcement of its military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.
FILE - A convoy of Cameroon's army soldiers as part of a reinforcement of its military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.

Cameroon’s military has taken back control of the border village of Ashigashia from the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, which had occupied it for close to three weeks. As many as 10,000 Cameroonians and Nigerians have fled the fighting this week, taking refuge in schools in Kolofata and Mora in North Cameroon. Local authorities say the area is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

Thousands of Cameroonians and Nigerians, some with their cattle, have taken shelter at a government school in Kolofata. It is one of three schools the Cameroon government has designated as temporary refuges.

Cameroonian-born veterinarian Nana Jules said her neighbors fled the violence. 

"We heard lots of gun firing. Blood everywhere and some of the people ran to Nigeria. It was a difficult situation," said Jules.

Nigerian cattle rancher Abdouraman Sanusi told VOA the violence began weeks ago, when Boko Haram militants crossed the border.  

"They have occupied our place. Those who remain there are killed. Many people were killed," said Sanusi.

Despite the relative safety at the moment in Kolofata, Sanusi said conditions for his family are desperate and one of the children has died. 

"We don't have water since we trekked to this place. We have many children here and one of them died because of the suffering,” said Sanusi.

Babila Akao, a senior Cameroon government official here, said many more displaced people are arriving and the situation is getting dire.

"People are suffering. The people are in a bad situation. What we shall do is to look at where we can keep these people. To know their numbers and to make sure that the council helps and give them something to eat and drink,” said Akao.

This is not the first time Ashigashia has been targeted by Boko Haram. Deadly attacks began as early as 2009, and last year militants set fire to churches, looted buildings and killed a missionary.

Cameroon Defense Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o told VOA the situation in Ashigashia is stabilizing after a successful military offensive.

He said he is delighted that the locality of Ashigashia, which was occupied for some time by the militant group Boko Haram, has been taken over by Cameroon military. He added that his forces remain on high alert along the porous border, ready to repel any future incursions and attacks.

Kolofata has not been spared Boko Haram violence. Just last month, traditional ruler and Muslim spiritual leader Seini Boukar Lamine and his family were kidnapped. 

Border incursions and fighting between Cameroon’s military and suspected Boko Haram fighters is on the rise despite Cameroon closing its border with Nigeria.

Earlier this week, Cameroonian soldiers killed some 30 suspected Boko Haram militants and seized heavy weapons and vehicles on the boundary with Nigeria’s Borno State. The operation saw hundreds of Nigerian troops cross into Cameroon in hot pursuit.

Three states in northern Nigeria have been under emergency rule for more than a year, but attacks by Boko Haram in both Nigeria and Cameroon are on the rise.

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by: abrahamfaze from: kogi nigeria
September 26, 2014 9:00 AM
yes cameroon has done it, what nigeria can no do

by: Tabe from: Bangui
September 12, 2014 3:43 PM
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step ....Boko Haram is ripping what he had sold...They will all die by the grace of GOD

by: mbeng roger T. from: Douala Bonaberi-Ndobor
August 30, 2014 2:08 AM
Ifsome of our children are not able to have water and some of them are dieing already, what will happen when schools resume on the 8th? So the govement is telling us that some of these school where runing without the presiou liquid.God pls take control.

by: Dare from: nigeria
August 29, 2014 3:37 PM
prayer point for nigeria.,.any evil leaders sporsuring boko haram in nigeria die before your time in jesus name..but one day nig army will overtrow this so call evil and corruption leaders.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2014 12:07 PM
I feel proud for the Cameroonian army. They are the new icon of African defense initiative. How many times now has the Cameroonian army proved its worth? How many times has it come to the rescue of the Nigerian Army? Maybe it's time to reappraise the continent of Africa to know who really is the true giant of Africa. Corruption, even in the military, has so disgraced Nigeria so that 30 boko haram militants pursued 480 Nigerian soldiers who forgot their names, their identity and their way and ran into Cameroon which came to their rescue, killing 27 of the militants while 3 escaped. What a shame to the Nigerian Army!

It is so cheering and heart warming to feel Cameroon just next door. That is the hope that all will not collapse so easily like a pack of cards as the Nigerian situation seems. The hope is that if bad comes to worse - that is, in worst case scenario - those of us in need of military protection will go take refuge in Cameroon.
In Response

by: tim from: america
August 30, 2014 6:54 AM
what a stupid comment not to mention LOL....cameroon did not come to the rescue...all they did was use artillery across the border against book haram who were not aware of their fate...boko haram are far better fighters with better equipment than cameroon

by: jibrin Mohammed from: nigeria
August 29, 2014 11:45 AM
Good job Cameroon warriors keep it on don't let dem takes your land god will see you and your government true. Nigeria don't have good government day are selfish day are wicked liders who don't give a dame about their people's all day no is still government money and train their children, BH are killing in barno is not their problems what is in their minds now is 2015 elections

by: innocent from: douala
August 29, 2014 10:26 AM
a great work is always done by the minoriy its not the population that counts but the intelligence and the wish to do something.wahaoooo to our militry intelligence .bravo

by: Huges from: USA
August 29, 2014 7:41 AM
At least Cameroon's military are by far better in equipment and commitment than Nigeria's who instead are fleeing Boko Haram into Cameroon. That must be why Cameroon was able to away a piece of Nigeria's far South East region where oil was discovered about a decade ago. Shame on Nigeria. Good job Cameroon.

by: Little Smartex from: Benue, Nigeria
August 29, 2014 7:19 AM
This is a goodwork the cameroun military is doing, may God bless thier effort with success. Boko haram will never defeat you.

by: KOKO from: LAGOS
August 29, 2014 6:56 AM
Poor cameroonian,they are suffering because of irresponsible niighbours
In Response

by: Col
August 29, 2014 4:04 PM
Cameroonians are very jealous of their peace and at this point president Biya and the military are doing a great job!!!
I think we should give a chance to the Nigerian government...President Jonathan has not said his last word yet!
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2014 12:22 PM
Shame to president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; shame to information minister noisemaker Labaran Maku, shame to National Orientation Agency speaker/noisemaker Mike Omeri, shame to Defense spokesman Chris Olukolade, shame to National/Economic Planning and Finance minister Ngozi Okonji-Iweala. These are the people misleading and misinforming the country. Boko haram is an alien sickness like ebola that must be cured with all urgency, but this bunch above keep doing business and politics with it to the extent it has exposed Nigeria to the kind of ridicule that paints the picture of corruption on the face of every Nigerian as corrupt, especially those who travel outside the country. If poor Cameroon with poor equipment and welfare for its army can defeat boko haram in days, what is Nigeria doing? Or does Cameroon not have muslims sabotaging its efforts as we have in Nigeria?
In Response

by: Edward from: Poland
August 29, 2014 10:37 AM
Cameroon is much poore country that Nigeria and is able to fight and beat those devils from boko haram. Think about it.

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