Boko Haram insurgents kidnap 80, regional troops join the fight
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNN) – Officials say insurgents have kidnapped 80 people in northern Cameroon.
The attacks by Boko Haram militants happened Sunday morning as troops from Chad entered the country to fight the terrorist group.
The Chadian parliament unanimously voted to send troops to Cameroon and Nigeria to join in the fight against Boko Haram.
The first troops arrived in a convoy of more than 400 vehicles and a second wave of soldiers is expected soon.
“We can’t remain indifferent to what is happening to our neighbors,” Chadian President Idriss Deby said.
Trained in desert combat, Chadian forces played a critical role in fighting jihadists in northern Mali.
While Chad is the first country to put boots on the ground in Cameroon, the international community is expressing concern.
The Russian ambassador to Cameroon said his country will supply Cameroon with modern and sophisticated military weapons.
The U.S. ambassador to Cameroon said the United States would help train Cameroon soldiers and offer equipment in the fight.
Boko Haram has been attempting to take over military bases in the region.
Attacks on military installations mark a big shift in Boko Haram operations in Cameroon. Initially,they would cross the border and either attack to steal food or kidnap nationals and expatriates in exchange for ransoms.
Cameroon has already deployed about 7,000 troops across the Far North, where Boko Haram has scaled up attacks over the past six months.