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« Boko Haram and the Fear of Islamic Extremism in Cameroon: Part 2 – The Changing Face of Islam in Cameroon | Main | [Video] Kah Walla's "Fiery Call to Arms" at the Women in the World Summit »

February 15, 2012


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Video: Nigerian soldier from anti-bomb unit gets blown apart by BK bomb - http://pc2.vuclip.com/s150.vuclip.com/81/bf/81bf863538200b88654bdeb2fa8a8eba/ba63207/BokoHaramBomb_81bf_w_2.3gp?c=407015324&u=1540701836&s=BNX3pY&z=1202

Wanko Debs

Thanks a million for this very enlightening series which has really opened my eyes to a religion and a region of Cameroon that I was completely ignorant about. I hated history in secondary school because it was all about dead white men, but I am sure I would have been a history buff if such topics about our own country had been on the curriculum. Thanks once again!!


Now if Cameroon cannot control poachers from Sudan who slaughtered a record 200 elephants in the Far North in January alone, how on earth will they be able to monitor let alone arrest Boko Haram members who can easily melt into the crowd and carry out solo attacks with rudimentary tools?

elephant slaughter story here: http://tinyurl.com/798v9ee

J. S. Dinga

Nice write-up, sir, and thank you for opening this chapter.

I have some burning questions to ask. Is it not possible that Cameroon has Boko haram by a different name? You correctly pointed out the link to politics, especially the way politicians in Nigeria used disenchanted youth in their selfish political agendas. Did we not have some politicians and traditional rulers in the North and South-West associated with such practices not too long ago? Are the famous " Coupeurs de route" a thing of the past? What alternative can the government find to provide this sensitive group of youths to keep them from being drafted into these dangerous organizations? In a country like Cameroon - which practises political patronage involving giving one person cumulating functions even in the face of high unemployment - how can the youth find meaningful expression in life? Remember the group of young persons whom US ambassador Hariet Isom aptly described as the "nothing to lose" group? If the likes of Iya Mohammed can pile on functions upon fucntions, including the famous SODECOTON of North Cameroon which should have been the ideal alternative for these idle youths, how can the government possibly contain the development of a local Boko haram?

Today a US court sentenced Farouk Abdulmutallab an Al Qaeda operative to life imprisonment for his role in trying to blow up an American aircraft traveling from Europe to the US.The young man, from Southern Nigeria, had made forays into Cameroon. Is it not possible that he planted seeds of the Al Qaeda somewhere out there in Buea during his visit out there?
Is Cameroon really free of Islamic extemism?


Poachers slaughter 200 elephants in Cameroon national park in six weeks

Armed groups from Chad and Sudan blamed for unprecedented killing in Bouba Ndjida national park, fuelled by demand for ivory


Boko Haram from the West (Nigeria), armed gangs from the East and North East (Chad, Sudan), and more armed gangs from the South East (Central African Republic), and the Bakassi rebels in the Southwest (Nigeria again...)

For how long before the Cameroonian center collapses?????


To describe Boko Haram as "an extremist Islamist sect" is adding insult to injury. How can a discussion on Boko Haram be credible without acknowledging Sheik Mohammed Yusuf. Was it not his death(murder) that radicalise the groups activities.*
What about the heavy handed response by late Nigerian president Umaru Musa Yar’adua.Ironically,in North eastern Nigeria, "the army is more feared than Boko Haram."**
Who are the Boko Haram of Nigeria?***
Nigeria & Cameroon in particular and Africa as whole is on the tipping point of Enlightenment. In history, Enlightenment has often been likened to rebellion against corrupt authority. Africans are rejecting corrupt authoirities,and sometimes their method of rebellion can be very violent.

*Even the U.S which is often blind on such issues recognized that fact.See U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence report (November 30, 2011).Boko Haram:Emerging threat to U.S Homeland Security.
**"In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem," by Jean Herskovits. New York Times, January 2, 2012. Available at
*** Visit John Young's Cryptome.org webpage for more details, especially this page.The Boko Haram of Nigeria, available at http://cryptome.org/anwar-alawlaki/09-0805.htm

NOTE: There are audio recordings of Shiek Mohammed Yusuf circulating on the internet.Some have been translated into English. It is worth listening before making a judgement.


I take exception to your statement that Northeastern Nigerians fear the Nigerian army more than they do Boko Haram, as if that justifies the Boko Haram terror campaign! I spent six years as a student at the university of Ngaoundere during the time when the "coupeur de routes" phenomenon was at its worst. And I am certain that most poeple in the region would have told you that they still feared the Cameroonian army more than they did the "coupeurs de routes". But no one ever tried to downplay the reign of terror that these bandits imposed on the region. Neither did I ever encounter any during my trips in the region just because the army was more feared. Boko Haram remains an extremist group by virtue of the fundamentalist islam that it champions and a jihadist group by virtue of the acts of terror that it carries out in the name of Islam, no matter the justification.
Kingsley Enow

J. S. Dinga

Mr Kingsley Enow, I am interested in your comment. Frankly I am dying to know the situation with respect to those highway robbers (Coupeurs de route)in the Northern provinces. I lived the horrors of that gang and in fact a good friend of mine was savagely gunned down near Touboro, just next to my work place. It would be nice to know that things have calmed down for the better.


Cadmum's friends in action....

Up to 30 people have been killed in northeast Nigeria after suspected Islamists opened fire and set off bombs at a market, witnesses have claimed.



@Kingsley Enow
Hundreds of innocent Nigerians suspected of being Boko Haram members have been executed by the Nigerian army. The rule of law must find them guilty and then punishment should follow.Rather,the army which is a state institution is promoting the RULE OF GUN.No accountability and no trial of army officials carrying out summary execution.That is the reason why the people fear the army more than Boko Haram.Also note that in Nigeria there are some pragmatic opportunistic organisations using violence to achieve their stated goals while laying the blame on Boko Haram.*
I do not support their ideology and method of operation. However, Boko Haram is an effect of a cause, that is,corrupt government and poverty.** While we deplore their method, we should acknowledge their grievances.
*"In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem," by Jean Herskovits. New York Times, January 2, 2012.Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/opinion/in-nigeria-boko-haram-is-notthe-problem.html?pagewanted=all

**"Bill Clinton blames poverty for rising violence in Nigeria," by Jon Gambrell.Associated Press,February 14,2012. Available at http://www.africanquarters.com/index.php/africa/west-africa/575-bill-clinton-blames-poverty-for-rising-violence-in-nigeria.html

Hope Kale Ewusi

Your brilliant expose sheds light on a phenomenon that has been ongoing in divers forms -stemming from the clash of civilizations counched in Western colonization of Africa along with Islamic infiltration - both steeped in antiquity . Boko Haram's emergence however miss guided their tactics & aspirations, is rooted in the same context of protest against alien influences which Chinua Achebe's celebrated novel deplores in leterary terms.Lest we forget, many African nations recently celebrated 50 years of independence from the West, - an independence which was bloodily contested and finally attained through valiant sacrifice of our forebears.With Western colonization came Christian values, while Arabic infiltration introduced Islam.Both faiths - inherently alien, albeit, have a lasting stranglehold in African religious conscience.. Beneath the Boko Haram mayhem lies the plight of a people ( African) striped-up perhaps or more aptly put a people devoid of robust native values that can thwart foreign influences ( socio-political / cultural ), while imposing in return strong contrarian currents capable of influencing alien detractors by force of will.While radicalized Islam proselytizes through mayhem, Western evangelism imposes its values through subtle indoctrination and the net effect in both instances basically has been the devaluation & dilution Afro- autochtonic values. Similar responses to perceived cultural encroachment belied the mayhem that terrorized the Swedish capital last year. The foregoing though limited in deference to brevity, underscores the global scope of radical contestation.Thus as the specter of radical Islamism creeps into our national turf, it is prudent to take precautionary measures to stem its spread, while at the same time examine the underlying factors that prompts the proliferation of extremist fervor.

Edgar Sule

It seems someone has been paying attention - "Nigeria and Cameroun, on Tuesday, reached an agreement to establish a trans-border security committee to fight terrorism."
Nigeria and Cameroon tighten borders
The two neighbouring countries agree to establish a trans-border security committee
Article | February 29, 2012 - 3:19am | By Chidi Okoye
Nigeria's foreign minister, Gbenga Ashiru

Nigeria and Cameroun, on Tuesday, reached an agreement to establish a trans-border security committee to fight terrorism.

Gbenga Ashiru, Foreign Affairs Minister, signed the agreement on behalf of the federal government. “The Agreement on the Establishment of the Trans-border Security Committee between Nigeria and Cameroun constitutes a major bilateral initiative aimed at strengthening security along our borders,” he said. “Nigeria is committed to its full implementation and the realization of its objectives in the interest of the progress, peace and security of the peoples of our two countries. We believe that Cameroun will also demonstrate (the) same commitment.”

Ashiru noted that the ceremony was taking place at a significant time of global fight against the scourge of terrorism and piracy that poses serious threat to international peace and security. “There is no region that is immune to the heinous activities of the terrorist groups and the pirates off the coasts,” he said. “The UN and the AU have led the international and regional initiatives respectively to combat these security challenges.”

Responding, the Cameroonian Vice-Prime Minister, Amadou Ali, expressed delight that the agreement has finally come to light. Speaking through an interpreter, he explained that the event was an important milestone in deepening relations between Nigeria and Cameroun stressing the importance of ensuring peace and security especially along our common boarders.

“Confidence has been restored through permanent dialogue and consultation, as well as the reinforcement of cooperation between our two countries,” he said. “The efforts of our two governments depend above all on the existence of peace and security along our common border. Insecurity is a friend to no country and today’s event demonstrates our common will to resolve a common problem. I have no doubt that we will rise up to the challenges of insecurity along our common boundary, notably terrorism, maritime piracy, and the phenomenon of highway robbery along borders. The present agreement is therefore the demonstration of our common faith and confidence in the future.”



Lake Chad Basin Joint Force against Boko Haram Recommended
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

CameroonPostline.com -- Experts have urged member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC to resurrect an idling joint military force they established close to fifteen years ago to wrestle the Nigerian terrorist Islamic group, the Boko Haram.

The recommendation was made on the sidelines of the 14th Heads of State and Government Summit of the six-member Lake Chad Basin Commission that opened in the Chadian capital N’Djamena Monday, April 30. “It’s the only effective way of ensuring a crossborder clampdown and eradication of the terrorists,” a source indicated.

However, a formal response from the commission member states is still awaited. The LCBC comprises Chad, the Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria, Libya and Cameroon. In 1998, they agreed to set up a joint military force tasked with ensuring security around the lake which attracts fishermen and traders from the multi-country border intersection.

However, the initiative has never matured. Accusing fingers have ever since been directed at Cameroon which stormed out of the venture soon after its creation for unspecified reasons. Against the backdrop of blazing Boko Haram threats in the region, experts say reactivating the force may prove vital in checking crossborder movements by members of the radical group.

According to experts, material and financial commitments and effective contributions from all member states will be central in ensuring the active takeoff of the force. Reviving the slugging joint force is one of the major challenges that will face the new executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, a post expected to be occupied by Nigerian engineer, Sanusi Imran Abdullahi.

On December 31 2011, Abuja ordered the closure of Nigeria’s borders with Cameroon, Niger and Chad over suspicion and proof that Boko Haram militants were using the neighboring countries as hideouts. Nigerian diplomats say the Boko Haram menace is negatively affecting countries in the region, hence the need for joint action.

Abdullahi Omaki, Nigeria's ambassador to Chad has told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN that the federal government's directive to close the country's border in some troubled parts of Borno, Yobe, Niger and Plateau States with some neighboring is dealing severe blows to the economies of the latter.

Speaking on the sidelines of the LCBC summit, he said Cameroon and Chad were hardest hit. "The volume of trade, largely unrecorded, is about 80 per cent in favor of Nigeria. Most of the goods and services coming into Chad, 80 per cent come from Nigeria with less than 20 per cent coming from Cameroon. If the borders were not closed and you go through the Banki road, the Gambo road you will see the numbers of trailers that are plying that route on daily basis.

"Now that the border has been closed with effect from the end of last year, if you ask the Cameroonian authority, they will tell you how much they are losing in terms of revenue that they collect from these vehicles that pass through Banki and Gamboru.''

According to him, Chadian businessmen now source their goods from Sudan and other African countries at relatively higher costs, adding that Nigerian businessmen are also feeling the pinch of the border shutdown. "The effect is both ways. Nigerian business people are also losing because those goods are not coming.”

Omaki voiced optimism the situation in his country would improve and result in the reopening of the sealed borders soon. But skeptics maintain it may take years, unless a multi-national approach, including the reactivation of the joint military force, is embarked upon to scale down Boko Haram movements.

Previously, critics have warned that following the Arab Spring that swept away Muamar Gaddafi as well as recent rebel agitations in Chad and the Central African Republic, weapons circulation has increased in the region, easing access for groups like Boko Haram and pirates in the Gulf of Guinea


Nigeria, Cameroon sign pact on Boko Haram, piracy

Wednesday, 29 February 2012.

THE Federal Government yesterday signed a bilateral agreement with the Republic of Cameroon on the establishment of a trans-border security committee.

Members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been moving to Cameroon and other neighbouring countries to hide after perpetuating deadly attacks in the northern parts of Nigeria.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government.

He said the ceremony was timely as it happened at a period when the world is fighting terrorism and piracy.

Ashiru said: “There is no region that is immune to the heinous activities of terrorist groups and pirates.

“The United Nations and the African Union have led the international and regional initiatives to combat these challenges.”

According to him, the international conference on Somalia in London and ECOWAS summit in Abuja dwelt extensively on the dangers of terrorism and piracy.

The agreement, Ashiru said, would constitute a major bilateral initiative aimed at strengthening security along both countries’ borders.

The minister said Nigeria attaches great importance to the agreement because it demonstrates the ability and political will of both countries in addressing the challenges.

“Nigeria is committed to its full implementation and realisation of its objectives in the interest of the progress, peace and security of the people of our two countries.”

He hoped that Cameroon will also demonstrate the same commitment to the agreement.

The Vice-Prime Minister and Minister Delegate of the Presidency of Cameroon, Amadou Ali, who signed for the Cameroonian government, said the agreement showed that confidence has been restored through permanent dialogue, consultation and reinforcement of cooperation between Cameroon and Nigeria.

He said: “The construction of a trans-border road, electricity interconnection project and cultural exchange not only portray the will and determination of the two heads of state but also pave ways for citizens to strengthen the unity.”



How did such a shitty Arab idea take hold in Africa

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