Villagers along Cameroon‘s northern border with Chad and Nigeria have been protesting in front of government offices every day, demanding that the military intervene and deploy troops in regions where Boko Haram attacks have intensified.
According to protesters, at least 35 people have been slain in the last three weeks as a result of an alleged attack by a militant group.
Village leaders blame rebels affiliated with the terrorist group Boko Haram for killing at least 35 people and stealing cattle and food in the last three weeks. They pooled funds to send residents to Maroua, the regional capital, to seek assistance from officials.
Villagers came to warn the governor about Boko Haram terrorists assaulting or killing civilians and taking their food and cattle, according to Pastor Joseph Bayoha of the Evangelical Church of Cameroon in Tourou, a community on the Nigerian border.
Villagers in Cameroon’s north, according to Bayoha, want the government to send troops to defend them and their property and restore peace, claiming that the military and administration had abandoned them to confront Boko Haram alone.
Boko Haram penetrated the northern cities of Kolofata and Amchide, as well as the villages of Tourou, Gambarou, and Kumshe, according to community leaders.
The governor of Cameroon’s Far North area, Midjiyawa Bakari, told reporters that the military has not abandoned the villages as they say.
President Paul Biya of Cameroon, he added, finds the calls for more troops reasonable and should be prepared to work with troops already on their way to boost the military’s presence along the border.
Biya also authorized financial and material help to local militias that work with troops to combat the terrorist group Boko Haram, according to Bakari. He didn’t say how much money the militias would receive or what kind of aid they would receive.
Many young people who defected from Boko Haram after the death of its commander, Abubakar Shekau, last year may be returning due to a lack of employment, according to Bakari.
He pleaded with them to be patient, explaining that the government intended to pay incentives to militants who surrender so that they can return to farming.
Cameroon’s military denied accusations in local media that troops intended for the Far North were instead dispatched to battle insurgents in the western areas.
According to the military, troops are ready to safeguard people wherever and whenever they are needed.
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