Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bokam Haram Threat: France Orders It Citizens to Quit Northern Cameroon

Paris on Wednesday called on French nationals located in northern Cameroon to leave this area "as soon as possible", following the kidnapping of seven French tourists which is suspected to be an act of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Seven French, including four children were kidnapped in northern Cameroon and their captors crossed the border and are now in neighboring Nigeria, Cameroonian government revealed on Tuesday.
French Minister of Foreign affairs is quoted to have said that French nationals who find themselves currently in the extreme north of Cameroon should quit the area as soon as possible. This is the first kidnapping of French since the beginning of the war launched by France, January 11, Mali to dislodge armed Islamic groups who occupied the north of the country.
"We believe this is the Boko Haram sect that carried out the abduction, but has not yet signed," said Wednesday the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, dismissing a possible link with French intervention in Mali. Nigeria has not officially responded to the information on the presence of the kidnappers and their captives within its territory.
It should be recalled that French forces and Chadian launched a vast movement to rescue Mali. Sources say there is an increased vigilance of French nationals being or going to Chad, near the place of the kidnapping of seven French nationals and four children.
More broadly, "the border regions of Niger, southern Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic and the Lake Chad region is formally deprecated (red zone)," the ministry said.
On the other hand, President Paul Biya has also ordered intensification for the search of the French nationals kidnapped at Dabanga. Yaounde and Abuja sources hinted have launched a manhunt to locate the whereabout of the seven French nationals and the four children.
The Head of Joint Operations Centre at the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Eyebe Didier, assisted by the Head of the Communication Division of the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel, Badjeck Didier gave a press conference at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Defence, Yaounde on February 20, 2013. The defence officials said Dabanga where the tourists were kidnapped by terrorists is along the Maroua-Kousseri highway, near the porous borders with Nigeria, stating that the act took place 30 metres away from the border.
And sources also hinted the tourists had no local guide with them. However government has assured the population that security measures have been intensified to ensure the safety of tourists in the Northern Regions of Cameroon

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

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