Boko Haram Trained Kids Force Population to Flee Border Villages
Mora, Cameroon, September 29, 2014: Threats from children, aged between 7 and 11 years, hired and trained by the Islamic Militant group, Boko Haram have sent thousands fleeing from Amchide, Kerawa and Banki, all villages bordering Cameroon and Nigeria, a military spokesperson, Lieutenant Edgard Tankam, confirmed, Monday.
“The villages are almost empty. The people are running away because of fear. It’s not a war as such but a serious threat” Lt. Tankam said.
“Kerawa and Amchide are still controlled by the Boko Haram” voted the Company commander.
Tankam commands the 42nd Unit of the Motorized Intervention Battalion, BIM, in Mora, another town close to the Border with Nigeria.
The population of Mora has more than doubled since the new threats from kids of the Islamic sect. Sources say they carry guns and veil themselves like women. Those fleeing from the threats by the Islamic group settle in Mora, Maroua and other neighbouring towns and villages.
“I’m very frightened, if not I’ll not be here. We feel safer here in Mora” said a victim, Mahama Maragana.
Maragana is an ICT expert, working at a telecommunications Centre (Tele-Centre Communauté Polyvalent, TCP) in Amchide. He said the kids are recruited by Boko Haram from Islamic schools in the villages and trained in bushes.
“Many people in these localities are poor. The terrorists give children money and encourage them to join the group. Children who are not willing to shoot are killed” said Maragana.
Maragana, a husband and father of five, said he ran away with his wife and children but still returns to Amchide occasionally with the help of security forces to maintain equipment.
Maragana said a Boko Haram attack earlier this year, which resulted to the kidnapping of some ten Chinese in the area, was carried out mainly by the kids. He also said some of them, mostly Cameroonianians, were involved in the Kolofata raid in which the wife of Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister was abducted.
By Jude Fuhnwi in Mora
Meanwhile, Lt. Tankam endorsed that Cameroonians are part of Boko Haram and the root cause of it is poverty. He also said most Cameroons, because of fear, are accomplices to Boko Haram.