Boko Haram Militiamen

Since 2014 the Nigerian based terrorist group Boko Haram has been carrying out assassinations and large-scale acts of violence in Cameroon, and for years now, the Republic of Cameroon has been living in a continuous sequence of armed attacks attributed to the insurgent group. These continuous attacks have resulted in tension in the Far North region of the country as they are usually indiscriminate, targeting both civilians and GSF. However, GSF posts and camps are generally the main targets. The insurgence of the incursions in the region could be attributed to the fact that the region shares a border with Nigeria which has been immensely troubled by Boko Haram activities, coupled with the fact that they have gone through leadership crisis and are currently seeking to expand their territory from Northern Nigeria to neighbouring countries including Cameroon.

The Islamist armed group Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on civilians and security forces in towns and villages in the Far North region of Cameroon since December 2020. During the months of December 2021 and January 2022, a total of twenty-three (23) fatalities, and thirteen (13) casualties have been recorded during Boko Haram attacks, which include security officials. Intel further suggests that six individuals have also been abducted during this period. 

The focal points of these terrorist attacks are the Mayo-Sava department and the Mayo-Tsanaga department in the Far North region, precisely in Mora, Masla, Kolofata, Kouape, Koza, Hitere, and Moudoukoua. The formation of self-defense groups (vigilante), to combat these attacks, has encouraged violence and arbitrated community conflicts. Significant communal conflicts have been noted in the Logone-et-Chari department, in the Far North region which has led to the displacement of thirty individuals.

In 2015, the African Union established the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), made up of troops from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, to respond to Boko Haram attacks across the Lake Chad basin. The current anglophone crisis has played a major role in easing the activities of Boko Haram militiamen, as the army is also confronting separatist insurgency in the country’s Anglophone regions and the threat of cross-border raids by rebels in the neighboring Central African Republic, therefore, leaving the Far North region void. 

The rate of these attacks has become a significant cause for worry in the Far North region. Following the previous trend, the operational environment and the population remain at the mercy of attacks as violent Islamist and inter-communal attacks are likely to persist. Therefore, it is essential for Cameroon and the multinational force to improve on the number of counter-terrorism activities carried out in the Far North region.