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Video: Chadian troops join battle against Boko Haram

FRANCE 24 screen grab
2 min

The arrival of Chadian troops to help combat Boko Haram has raised hopes among Cameroonians living close to the Nigerian border. But after the latest attacks this weekend, the population is demanding further action.


A first contingent of heavily armed Chadian forces, equipped with armoured vehicles and combat helicopters, received a heroes' welcome when they marched into northern Cameroon on Saturday.

The next day, Boko Haram fighters based in northeast Nigeria seized scores of hostages in a cross-border raid, underscoring the scale of the challenge for Cameroon and its African allies.

"The state absolutely has to make a stand, including the African Union, so that all together we can block this Boko Haram," said Cameroonian Paul Bassog, speaking from the capital Douala.

Chad's intervention comes just days after Cameroon’s President Paul Biya pleaded for a global response to the jihadist militants, who are set on carving out a hardline Islamic state across a border region that straddles Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

For geopolitical analyst Manasse Aboya Endong, awareness has to go beyond the borders of Africa to trigger worldwide action.

“It's time we all understand that a threat that is transnational, a threat that goes beyond national borders, must attract the attention of all the states, of the whole international community,” he said. “Chad coming to help us in Cameroon is not enough to push back this evil. This is serious, the international community needs to trigger a reaction at a continental and global level."

While Russia has already promised to send equipment to Cameroon, Defence Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o will try to convince Niger to pledge troops during a meeting with the country’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou, planned in the coming days.

On Monday, the UN Security Council urged central African countries to step up plans for a multinational force to fight Boko Haram, in its first overall response to the threat posed by the Nigerian jihadists.

The council issued a 13-point statement strongly condemning attacks by Boko Haram, which it accused of kidnappings, killings, pillaging, rape, sexual slavery and recruitment of child soldiers since it launched its campaign in 2009.

Click on the player above to watch the report by Coraline Molinié and Emmanuelle Landais.

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