Thursday, 19 December 2013
Cameroon: New Boko Haram attacks
New Boko Haram attacks and the ongoing CAR crisis keep the government worried about mounting insecurity.
Interior Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi summoned Cameroon's ten governors for a three-day conclave on security and safety that started on Tuesday 17 December amid growing insecurity in and around the country. It is the second conclave this year and comes on the heels of deadly attacks and kidnappings in eastern and northern Cameroon by rebels from war-torn CAR and Boko Haram insurgents from Nigeria.
After having kidnapped a French Catholic priest in November, three Boko Haram militants attacked and killed a man in the northern town of Kousserie on Saturday 14 December.
The incident comes after Defence Minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo'o took delivery of imported heavy munitions at Douala port on Saturday 7 December. He received more than 100 heavy mechanised machine guns in Douala after having acquired two combat helicopters in November, as if to show the government's readiness to counter any internal and/or foreign attack.
Cameroon has continued to strengthen its military personnel and arsenal since the beginning of 2013, and has made it publicly visible. This was especially after the Paris-based Jeune Afrique magazine reported earlier this year that the country's military was weakened by obsolete equipment and was contaminated by tribal fratricides within its various compartments.
The interior minister said that “Cameroon is being propelled by the head of state Paul Biya through a difficult battle to emergence. But without national order; without peace and serenity, these [economic] projects cannot be realised. This is the key context of this meeting.” He added that, apart from routine investigations by special security units, it was imperative for all the governors to pre-empt attacks and avoid being taken by surprise.
On the other hand, Minister of Trade Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana told the meeting that food and other basic commodities were in sufficient supply, because that could also trigger internal social strife which might spill over to give insurgents the opportunity to invade the country.
For more news and expert analysis about Cameroon, please see Cameroon Politics & Security.
© 2013 Menas Associates