News / Africa

Questions Raised in Cameroon About Arms Seizures

Cameroon's government says it has seized huge consignments of arms and ammunition destined for Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. Residents in the area of the alleged seizure, however, say they are unaware of any such activity.

"The governor of the Far North Region has congratulated the forces of law and order and administrative authorities of Logone and Chari Division for impounding a huge quantity of arms and ammunition which was being smuggled for onward supply to the Boko Haram group," said the government announcement.

Cameroon state radio has broadcast this message several times, saying that Cameroon's defense forces seized some 5,400 firearms destined for Nigeria's Boko Haram sect in Borno State.

The news was announced after the Cameroon government dismissed media reports that groups like Boko Haram are using its territory as a training ground.

Cameroon's minister of communication and government spokesperson, Issa Tciroma Bakari, said that by seizing the arms, Cameroon had proved to the world that it is cooperating with Nigeria to stop Boko Haram threats.

"This is the best way to deny any allegations that Cameroon is being used as a base for insurgents, for the destabilization of other countries," said Bakari.

The government said the arms were seized in the sub-division of Gulfe, in the Far North Cameroon region.  

Competing reports

Forty-year-old businessman Ibrahima Dewa told VOA they had not seen any weapons in their village.

"I set out for the hard-to-access locality on a motorcycle," he said. "People there did not seem to be aware that a huge consignment of weapons had been seized in their locality."

Dewa said Cameroonian policemen move around the village with guns and lately they have seen an increase in the number of military men with guns.

Seventy-year-old Alim Bachir, chief of Kekte village, where the arms were said to have been seized, said he was rather scandalized that state radio and the country's officials could, in his words, mislead the people.  

He was emphatic that no arms had been seized in his village, and he said that nobody had been arrested or detained for transporting arms as the government had reported.

Bachir said he is the chief of the village so if the news were true, he should have been informed.

Cameroon Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakari refused to comment on the apparent discrepancies in the state radio reports.

"I heard the information, too, but in my capacity as the minister of communication, member of government, I will make no statement whatsoever. I will make no statement," said Bakari.

He described claims, however, that the arms did not exist as defamatory.

"Cameroon is calling on the authors of this defamatory campaign to put an end to it," he said.

Growing issue

Last month Nigeria asked its neighbors in the Lake Chad Basin Commission to create a task force to handle terrorists, but Cameroon said it would only contribute troops when there is need.

Suspected Boko Haram members so far have kidnapped nine French persons, two Italians and a Canadian in Cameroon. Ibrahim Njowel, a cattle rancher in Kousseri, North Cameroon says the sect remains a threat.

He said the sect is becoming a danger for Cameroon. He also said he had heard that three clergy were again kidnapped, and said he believes Boko Haram is becoming a serious problem in Cameroon.

Cameroon has promised to track down any terrorists and keep its territory safe.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More