Posted by News Express | 1 March 2014 | 4,180 times
The Nigerian armed forces have located about a dozen hideouts of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in neighbouring Cameroon.
Nigeria is said to have tabled four conditions before Cameroon for its consideration on the issue.
A military source said that many Boko Haram leaders and field commanders have relocated to Cameroon from where they direct operations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, the latest being Sunday’s massacre of about 50 students of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State and Wednesday’s attack in Madagali and Michika Local Government areas of Adamawa State.
The source said: “We have been able to establish that Boko Haram now operates fully from Cameroon where they have more than a dozen of deadly bases. Most of their wanted leaders live in havens in the Francophone country.
“The sad aspect is that they have been operating with impunity in Cameroon. We do not know why they enjoy such latitude.
“We have done reconnaissance which confirmed that the sect has been coming in and out of Cameroon to wreak havoc on innocent villages and communities in Nigeria.”
The Federal Government, the source said, has been liaising with the Cameroonian government although it is yet to get a decisive response.
Nigeria’s demands are:
•Allowing Nigerian troops to enter Cameroon for limited engagement against fleeing Boko Haram members
•Permitting troops to take the battle to the sect in their bases in Cameroon, especially in border areas
•Temporary closure and freezing of movement at Nigeria/Cameroon borders
• Stoppage of harbouring or hosting of Boko Haram leaders under whatever guise.
The source added: “The Federal Government has been mounting pressure on Cameroon to collaborate with Nigeria to curtail the insurgents.
“In the 80s, when there was a similar insurgency by the Maitatsine sect, Nigerian troops trailed them to their based in Chad.
“The understanding is necessary because it is obvious that the sect is not ready for any constructive dialogue again and their recalcitrance is threatening our sovereignty.
“I think we have had enough from these insurgents who are taking us for granted. The battle line is certainly drawn.”
President Biya is said to be receptive to the idea of co-operating with Nigeria but the source declined to go into details.
He only said: “Where Cameroon decides to accommodate the insurgents against our security interest, we know what to do as a nation.”
Meanwhile, Nigerian troops killed 13 suspected Boko Haram fighters and arrested 15 others following a raid on their camp after they massacred at least 37 people, a defence spokesman said yesterday.
“Two were arrested on (Thursday) while 13 others were arrested today (Friday) while 13 of them died following a raid on their makeshift camp,” Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade said.
He did not give details of the raid.
The camp is located between Borno and Adamawa, two of the three northeastern states where a state of emergency was imposed by the Nigerian government last May following a wave of Boko Haram attacks, he said.
Olukolade disclosed that some of the militants who escaped from an earlier raid have also been arrested in and around Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
•Largely based on a Nation report. Photo shows Boko fighters.
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