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Cameroonian Official Appeals for Global Support against Terrorism

FILE - Cameroon's President Paul Biya addresses reporters following his meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Elyse Palace in Paris, Jan 30, 2013.

Cameroon’s communications minister said his country needs the support of the international community to combat the growing threat posed by the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram.

Issa Tchiroma Bakary said his government welcomes Chad’s decision to send troops to Cameroon to help in the fight against the Islamist insurgency.

He said others, particularly Western countries, would deliver previous pledges of support soon.

Tchiroma Bakary’s comments came as his government announced Sunday that Boko Haram militants had kidnapped as many as 60 people in a cross-border raid from Nigeria.

He said several people who tried to stop the militants were killed and dozens of homes were burned.

“Indeed, they stormed a village in the far north; they burned down 80 houses; they killed three people; and they took hostages, as many as 50 people, including teenagers, women, children and some two adults,” he said.

Tchiroma Bakary said logistics are being worked out for Chadian troops, who have arrived in the country to begin working alongside the Cameroonian military.

“The offer was done the day before yesterday. Now, the two military headquarters and politicians, they need to come together to elaborate a common strategy, how to occupy the borders. They need time to deploy their military hardware and to get everything ready,” he said.

He said his country is grateful to Chadian President Idriss Deby for offering to assist not only Cameroon, but also Nigeria. He also said the African Union has pledged its full assistance.

Tchiroma Bakary hoped others, particularly Western countries who pledged assistance during the Paris summit, would deliver soon.

“During the Paris summit, the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Canada - these nations have promised to give us their contributions in our fight against Boko Haram. So, Africa will play its role, but I think the rest of the civilized nations have promised [support], and we are looking forward to receiving their assistance,” Tchiroma Bakary said.

He denied that Boko Haram may have established bases inside Cameroon.

“It is impossible to penetrate and remain in Cameroon. There might be allies or accomplices within the country; they may recruit some young people, unemployed Cameroonians in need of money and who could be brainwashed. But, to penetrate our frontier and to remain in Cameroon, this is impossible,” Tchiroma Bakary said.

Tchiroma Bakary credited the vigilance of the Cameroonian army who, he said, have a motto: to fight to the last drop of their blood in defense of the nation.

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