UN Condemns Boko Haram Abuse Of Children In Cameroon

UNThe United Nations has accused Boko Haram militants of kidnapping more than 1,000 children and using some youngsters as human shields in Cameroon.

A top UN official said that the insurgent sect has been behind horrendous violence in Nigeria’s eastern neighbour starting from last July, when the jihadists began launching cross-border attacks.

Initially just hit-and-run strikes to grab food, UN humanitarian coordinator for Cameroon, Najat Rochdi said that the attacks soon escalated into the militants burning villages and killing people.

By the end of the year, the sect’s fighters had begun kidnapping children.

According to Miss Rochdi, at the height of the attacks in northern Cameroon in February, Boko Haram deployed children aged between 8 and 12 on the frontline.

She added that many Cameroonian soldiers had been deeply traumatised by having to face children on the battlefield.

It remains unclear if the children were from Cameroon, Nigeria or elsewhere.

Thousands Protest Against Boko Haram, Rally Support For Army In Cameroon

boko haram captureThousands of people marched in Cameroon’s capital on Saturday to protest against Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency and support the Central African nation’s army, which is fighting alongside regional neighbours to defeat the Islamist group.

The march in Yaounde was aimed at informing the public, especially in the southern regions, about the threat posed by the Boko Haram, which had carried out regular cross-border raids in the far north, one of the organisers said.

Yaounde is located in the central region of the country.

“It was important to tell Cameroonians that we are at war and a part of the country is suffering,” said Gubai Gatama, a newspaper editor who was among the march’s organisers. “About 150,000 people have been displaced by the conflict.”

In addition to its own citizens forced to flee the violence, thousands of refugees have poured into Cameroon from northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram is seeking to carve out an Islamist emirate.

Some 170 schools in Cameroon’s northern region have been closed,” Gatama said.

Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency in Nigeria has spread to neighbouring countries, where the group has launched attacks over the past year, burning villages and kidnapping residents.

The Lake Chad region nation threatened by Boko Haram, Nigeria along with Cameroon, Niger and Chad, have launched a joint offensive to quell the rebellion and claim to have retaken territory from group in recent weeks.

Muhamadou Labara Awal, 27, was among the 5,000 people who organisers estimated marched on the May 20 boulevard in Yaounde, chanting and waving the flags of the regional coalition.

“It was important for me to be here because I’m not a soldier to be deployed to Fotokol. The only way I could pay homage to our troops was to be here,” Awal said, referring to a northern town regularly targeted by the Boko Haram.

Boko Haram kills Scores in Cameroon

-Members of the Boko Haram sect killed more than 100 people during an attack on the north Cameroon town of Fotokol, murdering residents inside their homes and in a mosque, a local civic leader said on Wednesday.

“Boko Haram entered Fotokol through Gambaru early in the morning and they killed more than 100 people in the mosque, in the houses and they burned property,” Reuters quoted the local leader as saying.

The man said the militants shot one of his sons dead during the raid.

Earlier reports say the attack on the town of Fotokol in Cameroon by members of the terrorist group was repelled.

Cameroonian Information Minister, Issa Tchiroma, said the fighting in Fotokol had lasted several hours.

“The insurgents have been driven out. They tried to surprise us because the Chadian troops who were in Fotokol had crossed over to Nigeria,” he said.

The attack represents the latest cross-border incursion by Boko Haram, who operate near Nigeria’s borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Over 200 Militants Killed By Chad’s Army

The report of the attack on Fotokol is coming after Chad’s army said it had killed more than 200 militants from Boko Haram on Tuesday in a battle in the north eastern Nigerian towns of Gambaru and Ngala, which are near the border with Cameroon.

Chad has deployed 2,500 troops as part of a regional effort to take on the militant group, which has been fighting for five years to create an Islamist emirate in northern Nigeria. An estimated 10,000 people died in the region last year.

Chad’s army also destroyed more than a dozen vehicles equipped with heavy weapons in the battle, and 100 motorcycles used by the militants, the army high command said in a statement on Wednesday. There was no independent confirmation of its claim.