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General News of Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Source: thestaronline.info

Boko Haram Invade, Kill In Menchum, Destroy Villages, North West Governor warns of consequences, reinforces security at borders

Some 4000 people are said to have been displaced from some four villages in Menchum Valley Subdivision, Menchum Division of the North West region as heavily armed Nigerian herdsmen attacked their villages leaving one dead and several injured. The herdsmen attacked and killed the farmer leaving others wounded in four villages around the border town of Baworo.

According to information from the Mayor of Benakuma, Num Elias Ihimbru, those wounded in the clashes are currently receiving treatment at a local hospital in Baworo while a mixed team of officials including the Governor of the North West Region, the Commander of the 6th Military Batallon, Bamenda, the SDO for Menchum and the D.O. for Menchum Valley have been on the field to evaluate the damage.

During an economic visit to Menchum April 7 to 9, North West Governor; Adolphe Lele Lafrique personally visited the area to appraise the situation and appeased the displaced victims of Baworo by telling them to keep peace with neighbouring villages and country, religious tolerance and political parties.

The Governor himself came face to face with fleeing inhabitants of the villages of Badu, Bajini, Ukenake, Ifung and Ambo crying for help following what they said is armed aggression and destruction of their property by grazers from neighbouring Nigeria. They displayed placards, some of which read, “We are homeless and hungry “, ” We cannot farm”, ” Our children cannot go to school”, “The government should put an end to insecurity in the Baworo area”.

Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique took time off his economic tour of Baworo to chair an on-the-spot security meeting to handle the situation. He urged the displaced people to stay peaceful and hopeful while the government identifies all the displaced persons for assistance.

On his part, the Mayor of Benakuma which covers Menchum Valley Sub-division said since November 2013, the border area has not known peace, with armed grazers from Nigeria causing havoc in the villages of Badu, Bajini, Ukenake, Ifung and Ambo. The situation, according to the Mayor has caused deaths and the displacement of many while cattle has destroyed farms, drinking water sources polluted, schools closed and markets burnt.

Though the reasons for the attack are yet to be known, it is not the first time the people of that locality are being attacked by Nigerians. Recently, herdsmen invaded the area with over 5000 cattle with fears that they were militants of the dreaded Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The recent attack has caused hundreds of villagers to flee their homes.

Observers say Menchum, a border division with Nigeria is a potential corridor for foreign extremists to import chaos, anarchy and terrorism into Cameroon and that if the Menchum corridor is not protected, Cameroon may pay the price of neglect.

“No one wants to get there. Nip the problem in the bud.” As short term strategy, ground boots should be deployed along the Menchum/ Nigeria border. Later on, a permanent military post, the people requested. At the time of going to press, security was being reinforced in the Baworo area with troops deployed to maintain peace and secure the area.

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