More than 5,000 people, including women and children, have been freed from extremist captivity and at least 60 Boko Haram fighters have been killed by Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday March 14, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s minister of Communication and government spokesman, said the operations to wipe out the sect which began in late January, was an ingenuity from thousands of Cameroonian soldiers supported by Nigerian troops. The troops, Bakary said had launched raids on Boko Haram strongholds in the Mandara mountains which link the two countries.
Tchiroma said the soldiers have also destroyed the residence of a Boko Haram leader which also served as a hideout for the extremists, along with a huge consignment of weapons, vehicles and motorcycles. No soldiers have been killed, he said. He added that more than 20 suspects have also been arrested and are helping the Cameroon and Nigerian militaries in their investigations. He also said troops have destroyed a refuge center for the insurgents in the Mandara highlands, a petroleum depot and an explosives factory, as well as the residence of a Boko Haram leader, which also served as a hideout for the terrorists, and a huge consignment of weapons, vehicles and motorcycles.
The more than 5,000 people freed, including elderly persons, have been transported to a camp for displaced people in the Nigerian town of Banki, where they are receiving treatment from both Cameroonian and Nigerian military health workers, he said.
Cameroon’s rescue spree of boko haram victims comes a few days after the country has received strong attacks from former Nigerian senate president Ameh Ebute for purportedly having links with the boko haram insurgency and encouraging its activities in Nigeria.
Senator Ebute had addressed a letter to the UN Security Council calling on the Council to sanction Cameroon and Chad for alleged complacency in the fight against the terrorist group. As a reaction, the UN had maintain that it has always counted on the cooperation of all countries in the Lake Chad Basin in the fight against Boko Haram.
Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency has killed more than 25,000 people and displaced nearly 2.3 million, according to rights groups and the United Nations