Chadian troops join war against Boko Haram

A contingent of soldiers from Chad has arrived in northern Cameroon where it will deploy to the Nigerian border as part of efforts to contain Boko Haram fighters, according to a Cameroon Defence Ministry spokesperson.

The troops arrived in Maroua, the main town in Cameroon's far-north region, late on Saturday, Colonel Didier Badjeck said on Sunday.

He declined to say how many soldiers had been dispatched by Nigeria's northeastern neighbour.

"In the coming days, they will be deployed to the war zone on the border with Nigeria so that they can join our defence forces to crush and prevent incursions of Boko Haram into Cameroonian territory," Badjeck said

Boko Haram, which aims to carve out an Islamist state in northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks in the region as Africa's biggest economy prepares for a February 14 presidential election.

The group has expanded its operational zone into northern Cameroon over the past year, prompting the government to deploy thousands of additional forces, including elite troops, to its border with Nigeria.

Cameroon's President Paul Biya, who recently appealed for international assistance against Boko Haram, announced earlier this week that he was expecting the arrival of a large Chadian force to support his country's efforts against the fighters.

Chad has a reputation as one of the region's best militaries and helped French forces drive al-Qaeda-linked fighters from northern Mali in 2013.

Despite the growing cross-border nature of the threat posed by Boko Haram, efforts to deploy a joint force from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon to take on the fighters have faltered.

Ghana's President John Mahama, who currently heads West African bloc ECOWAS, told Reuters news agency on Friday that regional leaders would seek approval from the African Union next week to create a new force to fight Boko Haram.

Source:   aljazeera
Source Link:   aljazeera

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