27 Killed in Cameroon Attack

Local Nigerian media has reported that at least 27 fishermen were killed in an attack carried out by the Boko Haram militant group in the Lake Chad area of the Nigeria/Cameroon border.

The Attack

The attack was reportedly carried out by Boko Haram’s Buduma faction. It took place near a town called Darak, on the island of Kofiya. Kofiya is an island within Lake Chad that, while technically Cameroonian territory, is frequented by fishermen from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, and Niger. Locally, Kofiya is known as a “four country point.” Kofiya is located in the far northern region of Cameroon.

Reports claim that at least 27 people were killed, most of whom were shot by the militants. In addition, approximately three to four people were kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, who they apparently accused of spying for the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Most of those killed were Nigerian citizens.

While the general Lake Chad area is frequented by fishermen, it is also rife with militant activity, with attacks on civilians in the area taking place semi-frequently. As such, Cameroon has deployed military personnel to the area, in an attempt to combat militant groups in the area.

What is Boko Haram

Boko Haram, officially the ‘Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad‘ (Group of the People of Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad), is an Islamic militant organization that is based primarily in northeastern Nigeria. They are a Sunni Islamic group, and have declared opposition to Shia Islam.

While founded in 2002, the group did not begin its insurgency until 2009. Since the beginning of their insurgency in Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of people directly. The UN has reported that over 300,000 people, the overwhelming majority of which (more than nine out of 10) being children under 5, have died as a result of the insurgency due to indirect causes. Over two million people have been displaced due to the Boko Haram insurgency. Additionally, it has caused food insecurity amongst several million people, particularly as agricultural activities suffer due to militant activities.

Boko Haram had previously aligned itself with the Islamic State, at one point being known as their chapter in West Africa. However, in 2016 the group witnessed a split, turning into the modern iteration of Boko Haram and ISWAP. Presently, ISWAP also maintains a large insurgency in northern Nigeria, having since become one of the primary threats there.

Due to the split, Boko Haram and ISWAP have become hostile entities to each other. As such, they have clashed with each other on numerous occasions.

Boko Haram and ISWAP are both known for their brutality. They regularly carry out attacks against civilians, including at schools. Additionally, they regularly carry out kidnappings, sometimes by the dozens or the hundreds.

While they began in Nigeria, Boko Haram has spread into neighbouring Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Mali.

Several international entities have declared Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, including Canada, the US, the UK, the UN, and China, alongside several other nations.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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