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Boko Haram Escalates Terror Attacks in Cameroon

YAOUNDE, – THE latest attacks by Boko Haram in Cameroon is part of a broader pattern of increased violence by the Islamic group against civilians, mostly in the north.

The attack in Darak, a small fishing village in the Far North region, on August 4, left 12 people dead.

At least three villages on the island have been attacked in recent weeks.

Following a series of attacks by the alleged Boko Haram fighters in March, more than 4 000 people were displaced in several localities in the Mayo-Tsanaga district.

The following month, Boko Haram fighters reportedly attacked and destroyed approximately 400 shops and houses in the Mayo-Moskota district.

This evokes memories of Boko Haram’s expansion from Nigeria into Cameroon in 2014.

The group disrupted traditional socio-economic relations between communities in the Far North region and weakened local trading networks, leading to an increase in inter-communal violence.

The volatile security situation has been further exacerbated by growing desertification, water scarcity and limited access to grazing land, which has fueled clashes and tensions between communities.

The government of Cameroon has increased its troop deployment to the Far North region over the past few months.

During an emergency meeting in May, Cameroon government also requested more troops from Nigeria and Chad to be deployed to their shared borders as part of the regional Multinational Joint Task Force.

The force was established in 2015 to combat armed extremism.

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect said while combating Boko Haram, Cameroon’s security forces must carry out all military operations in strict compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law.

“The violence stoked by Boko Haram is not just a security issue,” Juliette Paauwe, Cameroon expert at the organisation, said.

“Meaningful programs that tackle poverty, radicalization, corruption and environmental degradation are urgently needed if the government of Cameroon wants to address the root causes of inter-communal violence and armed extremism.”

The Boko Haram insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009.

It was aimed at overthrowing the secular government and establishing an Islamic state in the northeast.

Boko Haram has subsequently spread into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

It has perpetrated widespread killings, suicide bombings, abductions, torture, rape, forced marriages and the recruitment of child soldiers.

Source : CAJ News