Military Locates 12 Boko Haram Hideouts In Cameroon

The Nigerian armed forces have located about a dozen hideouts of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in neighbouring Cameroon.

Consequently, the Federal Government is mounting pressure on the neighbouring country for collaboration in routing the insurgents.

President Goodluck Jonathan and President Paul Biya are already in talks on how to deal with the security challenge, authoritative sources said yesterday in Abuja.

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.”

President Francois Hollande of France said on Thursday in Abuja that his country stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Nigeria in its battle against Boko Haram.

He pledged his support in the fight against Islamist militancy as it had done in Mali. Hollande, guest of honour for celebrations to mark 100 years since Nigeria’s unification, expressed his condolences, calling the Yobe attack “brutal” and “unjustified”.

“Nigeria is today confronted with the terrorism of Boko Haram,” he told delegates at a security conference attended by dozens of African heads of state and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

“I assure you that your struggle is also our struggle. We will always stand ready not only to provide our political support but our help every time you need it, because the struggle against terrorism is also the struggle for democracy.”

Hollande was on a two-day visit to Nigeria and had been expected to hold talks on trade and investment with President Goodluck Jonathan.

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