Cameroon provides support to vigilante groups to fight against Boko Haram

Members of the Cameroonian Rapid Intervention Force patrol on the outskirt of Mosogo in the far north region of the country where Boko Haram jihadist have been active since 2013, on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Reinnier KAZE / AFP) (Photo credit should read REINNIER KAZE/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Cameroonian Rapid Intervention Force patrol on the outskirt of Mosogo in the far north region of the country where Boko Haram jihadist have been active since 2013, on March 21, 2019. (Photo credit  REINNIER KAZE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Cameroonian government on Saturday provided material and financial support to community defense forces, otherwise known as vigilante groups, in the country’s Far North region to fight against Boko Haram.

“This is a period when children will be returning to school and most of the vigilante groups have to intensify their activities to focus their attention on the protection of the civilians and the national territory. That is why the head of state decided to assist them materially and financially,” the region’s governor, Midjiyawa Bakary told reporters during a ceremony held in Logone and Shari division to hand over the assistance.

“Vigilante groups have been very instrumental in our fight” against Boko Haram and this assistance will go a long way to encourage and enhance their activities, Bakary added.

The assistance includes motorcycles, torchlights, telephones, hand metal detectors, raincoats, boats and financial supports.

According to the Cameroon army, the vigilantes, totaling some 14,000 in the region, have since 2014 provided critical intelligence to Cameroonian forces and sometimes confronted jihadists directly.

Boko Haram has killed about 2,000 people in Cameroon since 2014, according to local media quoting international NGOs.