Cameroun Reopens Far North Nigeria Border as Boko Haram Retreats

  • Fighter jets, ground troops repel attack in Borno

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja with agency report

Cameroun is reopening its border with Nigeria in the Far North region because the threats of attacks by Boko Haram militants have subsided sufficiently to resume commercial activities, according to the region’s governor, Bloomberg reported wednesday.

“At this stage in the crisis, we are confident to declare that the insecurity caused by Boko Haram is firmly under control,” Governor Midiyawa Bakari said by phone on Tuesday from Maroua, the regional capital.

“The efforts of defence and security forces, as well as the remarkable contributions by self-defence groups, have paid off enough to permit the reopening of the closed markets and the land border with Nigeria.”

Schools will also resume teaching when the new academic year starts in September, Bakari said.
Cameroun closed the border amid at least 200 attacks by the Nigeria-based militant organisation, which killed as many as 480 people since July 2015, according to Amnesty International.
The attacks have forced over 33,000 pupils to abandon schooling, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund said.

Despite Cameroun’s decision to reopen its far northern border with Nigeria, fighting continued in Borno State, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency, when fighter jets of the Chadian and Nigerian Air Force (NAF) backed the ground troops of 119 Task Force Battalion stationed in Kangarwa in the northern Borno to successfully repel an attack by the terrorists against their positions on Tuesday evening.

Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, stated wednesday that the attack, which started at about 6.30 p.m., was successfully repelled.

Usman disclosed that calm was restored after about three hours of exchange of heavy gunfire that inflicted tremendous casualties on the terrorists.

“Unfortunately, two of our gallant soldiers paid the supreme price, while seven were wounded in action,” he said.

He said due to poor visibility, the number of terrorists killed could not be immediately ascertained.

According to the army spokesman, “The bodies of the gallant soldiers and those wounded in action were evacuated while the unit continued to carry out mop-up operation.”

He said the successful resistance to the attack was made possible by support from the Nigerian and Chadian air force fighter jets.