MORA, CAMEROON - Authorities in Cameroon say Boko Haram terrorists have been launching daily attacks on villages along the Nigeria border, killing at least 30 people and injuring scores in the past few months.
Cattle rancher Lamsi Guidjo, 55 years old and speaking through an interpreter, asked for temporary housing at the central Mosque in the town of Mora, on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria.
He said Boko Haram militants attacked his ranch in Werwack village on Tuesday and it is not safe for him to return.
Guidjo was told by villagers that Boko Haram killed five people in the attack.
The governor of Cameroon's far north region, Midjiyawa Bakary, said the attack on Werwack was just one among a hundred they have recorded in the past three months.
At a high-level security meeting Wednesday in the city of Maroua, Bakary said the Boko Haram attacks left at least 30 people dead in villages around Mora, Tokombere, Limani, Kolofata and Ashigachia. Participants at the meeting recommended that traditional rulers, the clergy and civilians work with the military to help reduce the attacks.
Boko Haram fighters usually step up their attacks at the end of the year when cross-border traffic between Nigeria and Cameroon increases so they can steal supplies, Bakary said.
But Theress Doudou, a 26-year-old teacher at the Mora government school, blames the attacks on the absence of Cameroon military in the villages. She said the troops left just months ago, claiming they were no longer needed because peace had returned.
Swaibou Issa, a researcher on Boko Haram at the University of Maroua, said Boko Haram's firepower has only been weakened but its fighters are still a threat along the border.
"The engagement, the commitment of our political authorities is clearly defined that no matter the cost, they want peace," Issa said. "It is their duty to protect civilian populations, it is their duty to fight those who are not willing to go for peace. The two processes always go together in a war."
Boko Haram terrorists have been fighting for a decade to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria's northeast, and began attacks inside Cameroon in 2014.
The Islamist insurgents have killed more than 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million since 2009.