Boko Haram Surge: Nigeria and Neighbouring Countries to Fight against the Islamist Militants

imagesKey Highlight

Nigeria and neighbouring countries on brink of major offensive likely to severely weaken Islamist militants.

Cameroon has intensified its operation to stem the spillover of violence from Boko Haram’s traditional strongholds in northeastern Nigeria. The country has been the militant group’s target of attacks following its move to deploy troops as part of a regional force to try to stop the six-year insurgency by Boko Haram which intends to curve an Islamic caliphate in West Africa.

Analysis

After the spate of suicide bombings in July, Cameroon’s government announced plans to send an additional 2,000 troops to boost security in the Far North region.

Cameroon has been Boko Haram’s target of attacks following its move to deploy troops as part of a regional force to try to stop the six-year insurgency by Boko Haram which intends to curve an Islamic caliphate in West Africa.

The attacks spilled over to the month of August with the village of Tchakarmari which lies north of Maroua experiencing most attacks. Boko Haram militants on Tuesday 4th August killed seven civilians and captured about 20 others in the village of Tchakarmari.

Cameroon Offensive against Boko Haram

Earlier, Cameroon had deployed 7,000 troops as part of a regional force to try to stop the six-year insurgency by Boko Haram. With the additional 2,000 troops, Cameroon still remains a big contributor on the war waged to the militants.

Cameroon has also banned hijabs, the full-face veil donned by Muslim women on religious doctrines. This is a bid to fight terror following the spate of suicide bombings which were carried out by veiled female bombers.

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Over the weekend, West Africa OSINT sources indicated that Cameroonian government rounded up and expelled about 2,800 Nigerians living in Cameroon without required documents. This was a move to get rid of militants living in the country under the guise of refugees.

Summary

Unprecedented co-operation with, and assistance from, regional neighbours is likely to give Nigeria the chance to severely weaken Boko Haram and significantly reduce its threat outside the northeast of the country.

Cameroon has seen the need of securing her own country against insurgency even as it contributes its efforts towards the West African regional force to curb Boko Haram menace that stems from north east Nigeria.

Boko Haram continues to plague Nigeria and her neighbors including Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin. Benin, which has been off the hook, experienced her first attack Monday when Boko Haram militants sabotaged a pipeline that brings Nigerian natural gas to Benin, halting production at latter country’s only power plant.

Fight against Boko Haram turned into regional war and early February, 2015, Niger, Cameroon, Benin and Nigeria agreed to form an African Union force of up to 8,700 troops to counter the terrorist group. Over time, the countries have continued to deploy more troops towards the Union force.

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