Blocked Supplies is Boko Haram’s Main Reason for Intensified Attacks, Cameroon Says
YAOUNDE, CAMEROON “We have deployed more troop in our northern border with Nigeria following the recent intensified attacks in our border markets,” Cameroon authorities said on Tuesday.
The Cameroon government’s series of attacks that are being blamed on Boko Haram could be because all Boko Haram supply routes are under the Cameroon military. However, the militia group has not yet claimed responsibility for the recent attacks witnessed in many market centres along the Cameroon-Nigeria border.
One of the most hit parts of this northern region is Dabanga which serves as a cattle business centre in the north area. Speaking to VOA, a representative of one of the significant cattle ranches in the village, Donald Kulbe said that more than 50 animals were killed and hundreds of villagers chased by Boko Haram during the recent attack. According to Mr Kulbe, who happens to be the Dabanga Village Cattle Market director, many buyers and villagers have so far been chased out of the village. “They are in hiding in the neighbouring bushes along the village’s border,” said Kulbe.
This was the first deadliest attack since 2014 when the militia group abducted several Chinese contractors after attacking a base camp road contractor in Dabanga. Having stolen dozens of explosives, weapons and killing one soldier, the militia group later released the abducted Chinese national. However, the Cameroonian authorities declined speculation of paying ransom to have them released.
Following these attacks, many investors in the region have continued to count losses because the disruptions have made trade very difficult and even dangerous. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, this region has increasingly become hostile to traders and villagers and visitors and investors. According to Kulbe, this could be why the village’s economy dwindled significantly in the recent past.
“Villagers identified over 20 corpses,” he said, “after the Cameroonian military responded to the attacks.”
After the combat, the Cameroonian military managed to defeat the bandits and recovered six pick-up trucks and seven motorcycles used by Boko Haram during the attack. One soldier was killed, and two members of the Cameroonian military were wounded during the attack.
Boko Haram suffered losses as about 20 fighters were killed and dozens of weapons seized during the attack. According to Governor Bakary, two civilians, including a pregnant mother, were killed during the fire exchange though Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Commenting on the region’s security, the area’s governor, Mr Midjiyawa Bakary, said that the attack involved more than 100 civilians who attacked a Cameroonian military base in Dabanga on Saturday the market was attacked. According to the U.N, Borno state is the hotbed of terror and the Boko Haram militia operations’ epicentre.
On Tuesday, Cameroonian authorities released intelligence reports acknowledging that hundreds of heavily armed Boko Haram jihadists were hiding in the northern border with Nigeria planning attacks on Cameroon. However, according to the report, more troops were deployed in the region to secure the border and collect more general intelligence.
This follows a call by Cameroonian authorities to villagers to report any strange visitors spotted in the region.
According to Governor Bakary, the militia was planning attacks on civilians and military bases across Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria following recent defeats experienced last year. Most of their major strongholds were secured by forces.
“Their major intentions are to steal food and weapons,” Bakary said, who also commented that the troops had already blocked Boko Haram’s significant supplies corridors.