Following another suicide bombing attack on Sunday in northern Cameroon by Boko Haram, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that armed forces were deployed to the Central West African nation, reports the BBC.
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On Monday, 90 troops were sent to Cameroon. Another 210 troops will be sent to the region in order to provide airborne intelligence, reconnaissance operations, and surveillance for the area.
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest added, “[The mission] is part of a broader regional effort to stop the spread of Boko Haram and other violent extremist organisations in West Africa.”
This is the second Boko Haram-related deployment the United States has conducted.
The first occurred when U.S. surveillance planes as well as personnel were sent to Nigeria to facilitate the search of the missing Chibok girls last year.
Boko Haram, which pledged its allegiance to fellow terrorists the Islamic State (IS), has continued to be an elusive foe for both police and military forces throughout northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.
The victims of bus hijacks, car bombs, and now suicide bombings, Nigeria’s aforementioned neighboring countries have became targets of Boko Haram since they committed forces against the terrorist group.
And while the Multinational Joint Taskforce has made great gains in the past few months, recovering territory, rescuing kidnapped civilians as well as destroying many of their strongholds hidden in the Sambisa Forest, Boko Haram has been successful in using children and young women to detonate bombs in unsuspecting public spaces.
Of the United States’ heightened participation against Boko Haram, BBC Africa Security Correspondent Tomi Oladipo says, “The United States has recognised the increased threat its allies and interests in the region face following Boko Haram’s absorption into Islamic State. The jihadist group has shown itself resilient in the face of military operations by the combined armies of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
“…It’s still early days but this deployment could revamp the gathering of intelligence, and maybe prove a game changer in finding the core Boko Haram leaders who are keeping the jihadist campaign active.”
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