Jihadist conflict in Cameroon diminishing, says thinktank

2018-08-15 12:39
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Violence in northern Cameroon by Nigeria's Boko Haram jihadists has diminished but rooting out their threat will need deft handling, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned on Tuesday.

"The intensity of the conflict against Boko Haram in Cameroon's Far North has diminished, though the movement still poses a threat and the humanitarian situation remains precarious," the thinktank said.

Two major challenges must be overcome to consolidate long-term stability, it said: "First, dealing with former combatants and other Boko Haram members; and, secondly, determining the future of community self-defence, or vigilante, groups."

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

A militant movement that reviles Western influence and seeks to impose an Islamic state based on Sharia law, Boko Haram has caused the deaths of at least 20 000 people since it took up arms in Nigeria in 2009.

Its insurgency has spilled into neighbouring countries, including Cameroon's Far North Region.

Since 2014, the group has killed 2 000 civilians and soldiers and kidnapped about 1 000 people in Cameroon, according to the ICG's estimates.

The main tools to fight the jihadists in the Far North include encouragement to desert, and the use of around 14 000 vigilantes to provide intelligence for the security forces and protection for villages.

"Since October 2017, the Cameroon government has been more willing to accept Boko Haram deserters. To date, almost 200 have surrendered," the ICG said.

But the government should strengthen this policy by announcing that it will protect surrendering Boko Haram members "and afford them due process."

It should also devise a programme of support to help former jihadists reintegrate in the community, the report said.

As for the vigilantes, the authorities should keep closer supervision of their activities, train them better, demobilise them in areas where they are not needed and investigate all accusations of abuses by them.

"International support for measures to deal with former Boko Haram members and vigilantes will be critical, given the lack of local expertise and the strain on public finances, with the October presidential election looming and Cameroon hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019," the report said.

Read more on:    international crisis group  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  cameroon  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.