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Cameroon Welcomes US Assistance Against Boko Haram


YAOUNDE— Cameroon President Paul Biya welcomed the engagement of U.S. troops in his country’s fight against Boko Haram insurgents. But many Cameroonians do not yet understand the role of the troops in the war.

President Biya in his end of the year message said Boko Haram had remained a major challenge to his country’s development, peace and security, and saluted what he called the experience and expertise of American troops in helping Cameroon.

He said he specially thanks the U.S. government and is highly delighted with the confidence of the American people, especially now that their troops have been providing vital information and training for his country’s military.

Thirty-year-old Muslim youth leader Bouba Ahijo said residents of Cameroon’s northern town of Garoua were told U.S. troops had come to liberate them from Boko Haram atrocities. But he said he is still not aware what the Americans have been doing more than two months after they arrived.

He expected the U.S. forces to fight alongside Cameroonian soldiers to defeat Boko Haram, but they have instead stayed in their offices since they came. He questions why the Americans have not attacked Boko Haram, as he hears they attacked an Islamic State base in Iraq.

Cameroon has been fighting a Boko Haram insurgency that spilled over into its territory from Nigeria three years ago. According to the United Nations more than 20,000 people have lost their lives and more than two million people have been displaced.



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