Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Africa News .




AFRICA NEWS
Cameroon battles Nigeria's Boko Haram in remote border city
by Staff Writers
Amchide, Cameroon (AFP) June 24, 2014


Cameroon, stepping up its cooperation with Nigeria against the deadly Islamist campaign by Boko Haram insurgents, is working to rout them from a key stronghold in a remote northern border region.

Amchide, a city in the far north of Cameroon near the Nigerian town of Banki, has become a hotbed for fighters from the extremist group -- one police officer estimates they account for 90 percent of the population.

"Amchide is Boko Haram's local fiefdom," said Lieutenant-Colonel Thierry Foumane, the regional commander of Cameroon's Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), an elite army unit recently deployed to the remote area.

Cameroon, like other countries in the region, has greatly stepped up its operations against Boko Haram since the April kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria sparked international outrage.

The Islamist group has been terrorising Nigeria with almost daily attacks in recent weeks as part of a bloody five-year insurgency that has already claimed thousands of lives.

Militants often use Cameroon as a staging post to launch attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria as the border is extremely porous, with no buffer-zone clearly separating the two countries.

When leaving Cameroon, the boundary is marked by a simple iron bar followed by a sign announcing the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A Cameroonian army officer pointed out a house that literally straddled the border. "Look at this house. The living room is in Cameroon, but the other rooms are in Nigeria," he said.

Further complicating the operation is that Boko Haram has infiltrated families: "In the same family you can find honest people but also Boko Haram members," Foumane said.

"Our greatest challenge is to win people's confidence so they will report the bad apples. But how can you expect a parent to hand over his son, or a youth to turn in his brother?"

The situation also makes it easy for the Islamists to work their way into Amchide, a police officer with long experience in the area said on condition of anonymity.

He described them as ruthless, with beatings and blackmail in their arsenal.

For them, "anything goes in Amchide", he said. "They have offered money to youths to rally them to their cause, and they have coerced the more fearful ones into joining them."

- Alliances with businesses -

He said the Boko Haram infiltrators have also developed alliances with businesses and "forced others to finance their activities".

Since Boko Haram began its deadly campaign, the Cameroonian city has become a hub of trafficking -- in weapons, cars or manufactured goods -- which the Nigerian extremists use to finance their recruitment.

Amchide has also been a staging ground for attacks on Banki.

"We have faced Boko Haram actions since 2009," Foumane said, adding that the menace finally prompted the army to deploy the elite BIR to the border area.

He described Amchide as a forward base under the control of the Cameroonian army, while many other military bases have been set up in the far northern region.

The police officer said the army was "cleaning up" Amchide. "Several dozen" people, either suspected Islamists or businessmen suspected of collaborating with them, have been arrested, he said.

"The wave of arrests continues," he added.

"The BIR guys are working day and night. They are purging the city. There were too many bad people," a customs officer said, also requesting anonymity. "The Islamists are dispersing little by little to the villages."

Some residents hailed the military operation.

"Before there were a lot of bad people. Now they are hunting them," an elderly man said.

But the soldiers deployed here, facing frequent harassment from the insurgents, know their mission is far from over. "A Boko Haram member is never far away," a top army officer said.

.


Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





AFRICA NEWS
Suicide blast kills three in northeast Nigeria: residents
Kano, Nigeria (AFP) June 22, 2014
A suicide bomber on Sunday rammed his car into a military checkpoint in northeast Nigeria's Borno state near the border with Cameroon killing three soldiers in an attack blamed on Boko Haram Islamists, residents said. Three other soldiers were also injured in the early morning attack in Gwoza town, a resident, Dahiru Yunusa, told AFP. "It was a suicide attack by a man believed to be a Bo ... read more


AFRICA NEWS
French scientists revive assault on pesticide, GM corn

China govt money paid for French vineyards: auditor

IDing Livestock Gut Microbes Contributing to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Iraq crisis threatens food safety in the country: FAO

AFRICA NEWS
New study reveals secrets of the disco clam

Global Ocean Commission call for stronger environmental protections

Detroit violating human rights by closing water taps: UN

Humans have been manipulating the Yellow River for 3,000 years

AFRICA NEWS
No further action on climate change could cost billions, EU says

Report sees hefty cost of climate change on US economy

Differing patterns of climate change in the North and South

Al Gore joins Australian mining tycoon in climate change plan

AFRICA NEWS
Zimbabwe switches $1.3 bn China power tender: minister

Both sides claim victory in Supreme Court case on EPA authority

Japan plans carbon offset scheme with India: report

How Much Energy Will the 2014 World Cup Consume?

AFRICA NEWS
In Austria, heat is 'recycled' from the sewer

Genome could unlock eucalyptus potential for paper, fuel and fiber

More than just food for koalas -- eucalyptus -- a global tree for fuel and fiber

EU agrees plan to cap use of food-based biofuels

AFRICA NEWS
Malaysia gets new transport minister amid MH370 crisis

Surviving without money, German woman's year-long adventure

NY homeless angry at China tycoon 'publicity stunt'

Japan satellites to monitor Fukushima, Chernobyl

AFRICA NEWS
Malaysian police detain Australian activist

Greenpeace left red-faced after top official travel expose

Plastic tide 'causing $13 bn in damage', UN says

Chemical pollution of European waters is stronger than anticipated

AFRICA NEWS
China state copper firm chief jumps to his death: report

China eyeing further boost to Piraeus hub: premier

China to start direct yuan trade with British pound

China, Britain sign trade deals worth 14 bn pounds




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.