News / Africa

    US Helps Cameroon Ramp Up Airport, Border Security

    FILE - People wait to cross the border into Equatorial Guinea by car and by foot in Kye-Ossi, Cameroon, May 23, 2015.
    FILE - People wait to cross the border into Equatorial Guinea by car and by foot in Kye-Ossi, Cameroon, May 23, 2015.

    The United States has given Cameroonian police sophisticated equipment to monitor airports and border crossings as part of continued cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram.

    Cameroonian police showed reporters the new surveillance setup Tuesday at the Yaounde police headquarters.

    On screens, officials can monitor movements at airports and border crossings. They can also see images from scanners that peer into parcels or bags, looking for suspicious content.

    Cameroonian Police Chief Martin Mbarga Nguelle said the U.S. was installing the scanning and identification systems in Cameroonian airports and at border checkpoints to allow the tracing of criminals who attempt to escape or hide among the population.

    The chief said that for security reasons, he could not give details on the technology.

    The U.S. also gave airport officials equipment to detect explosives, something Cameroonian officials said has been a growing concern.

    The donation is part of broader U.S. cooperation in the fight against Nigerian-based Boko Haram militants.

    FILE - A Cameroonian soldier guards at an observation post on a hill in the Mandara Mountain chain in Mabass overlooking Nigeria, northern Cameroon, February 16, 2015. Boko Haram militants kidnapped some 80 people from the village a month earlier.
    FILE - A Cameroonian soldier guards at an observation post on a hill in the Mandara Mountain chain in Mabass overlooking Nigeria, northern Cameroon, February 16, 2015. Boko Haram militants kidnapped some 80 people from the village a month earlier.

    The U.S. has previously given military equipment to Cameroonian troops fighting the militants in the north. U.S. military advisers are also on the ground there to provide training on how to detect and defuse explosives, among other things.

    Cameroon was drawn into the Boko Haram conflict when the militants began attacking towns near the Nigerian border in 2013. 

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