Cameroon arrests 50 Nigerian businessmen

Cameroon’s military authorities said they arrested 50 Nigerian businessmen for allegedly collaborating with the Boko Haram insurgents, just as Cameroonian soldiers killed 10 suspected members of the Islamist group.

The Wednesday killing, according to the Voice of America, took place in Mora along the Cameroon border with Borno State.

The military said, in addition to killing some of the militants, it confiscated vehicles, a large number of weapons, and detained dozens of Nigerians on suspicion of aiding Boko Haram.

The spokesperson for the Cameroonian military, Colonel Chioka Pierre, told the VOA they had been conducting sweeps as part of an intensified crackdown on persons behind violent incidents in Cameroon, believed to be connected to the Islamist insurgents.

He said they had been searching border villages to prevent incursions or to stop militants from using the country as a hideout or launching pad for attacks. According to him, local residents are cooperating with the military to root out Boko Haram suspects in the area.

There have been reports of strange faces seen in the border villages and residents said they were afraid Boko Haram might be recruiting young, unemployed people in Cameroon.

“We are seeing most of our graduates every year having no jobs. Tell me, if somebody comes and proposes a high sum of money to join this organisation, most youths are desperate, they will be forced to do everything to get into these extremist activities,” Bipong Dennis, a Cameroonian said.

Military spokesperson, Colonel Didier Badjeck, acknowledged Boko Haram had become a serious threat in northern Cameroon.

He said the security situation in northern Cameroon was getting worse and the terrorist group was a threat in terms of recruiting young people, killing, looting and stealing.

Two weeks ago, Cameroon’s military also detained 40 suspected Boko Haram militants in Maroua and sealed off a market where they suspected terrorist could be hiding arms.
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