Cameroon is taking stepsto guard against attacks from Boko Haram militants. The government has deployed troops to all major townsto search people, goods, businesses and even privatehomes. Now, Cameroonians of all ages are learning todeal with the increased security.
A soldier gives search orders at the main train station in Cameroon’s capital,Yaounde. It is the first time railroad passengers have been asked to line upand pass through a metal detector. If no metal object is found, they are free tocontinue moving and get on their train.
Susan Ngam is a member of the armed forces. She says the governmentdeployed her and other soldiers to towns across the country after four BokoHaram suicide bombings last month.
“Here we search everybody. We search the customers, we search theemployers.”
Businessman Emmanuel Ngufor is travelling to northern Cameroon. Headmits the increased security has led to delays. But he welcomes the effort.
“It is for our security. We can never tell judging from the looks of people. So itmay be inconveniencing but in as much as we know that it is for our good, it is worth it.”
Last month, about 60 Cameroonians were killed along the border with theNigerian state of Borno. Nigeria is home to Boko Haram supporters. Themilitants used female suicide bombers in the four bombings.
Bernard Okalia Bilai is the governor of Cameroon’s South West Region. Hesays the government has called for increased security all over the country.
“In the church, in the market, if you suspect a face, don’t hesitate to ask theman who he is without any provocation, without any threat, without anyviolence.”
Defense Minister Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o says he has urged businesspeople, schools and churches to employ private security agents. He sayssecurity forces have been working hard, but they need the support of everyCameroonian. He says everyone should be educated to help in fighting BokoHaram until the group has left Cameroon. He says the country will onlydevelop a healthy economy when there is peace.
Boko Haram was founded in northern Nigeria. It has threatened to attackCameroon because the country supports the Nigerian military‘s campaign to defeat the group.
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