Cameroon has received two military aircraft from the United States.
The two planes, according to Cameroon defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, are specialized in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and will assist the country in the fight against Boko Haram militants. It adds to armored vehicles, U.S.-led training on landmine detection and the presence of U.S. Marines in the country. Each of the C208 aircraft possess inbuilt cameras that could capture images from the ground for up to 10 kilometers away.
Joseph Beti Assomo says he is particularly grateful because pilots and other crew members of the aircraft have been trained by the U.S. and the maintenance of the equipment will be assured for two years by the United States.
He says Cameroon is very grateful to the people of America who have not relented in helping its military to combat Boko Haram terrorism. He says his country’s military will use the aircraft to protect not only its citizens and national territory from Boko Haram atrocities, but will also join troops of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to free Nigeria, Chad and Niger from the pain inflicted on them by terrorists.
The United States has been supporting Cameroon its fight against Boko Haram. In 2015, it handed a consignment of U.S. military equipment to Central African nations that deployed a regional military force to counter Boko Haram’s insurgency in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
That year the United States had declared Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization and placed a $7 million bounty on the terror group leader Shekau to help bring him to justice. In 2016, the United States trained the Cameroon military in detecting and counteracting landmines and explosive devices when the increasing use of landmines and suicide bombings by Boko Haram militants was reported.