Cameroon Army soldiers in a Landcruiser truck armed with Chinese-made twin 14.5 mm HMGs photographed at Dabanga in the Far North. In the background is a 30mm cannon-armed Type 07A Infantry Fighting Vehicle made by Poly Technologies Inc. (China)

26 August, 2014

Cameroon is redoubling efforts to end violence carried out on its territory by the Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The move comes after militants reportedly forced Nigerian troops to cross the border into the Central African nation, according to information minister Issa Tchiroma.

Tchiroma said military collaboration between the two neighboring countries remains strong despite Cameroon’s decision to close all of its borders with Nigeria due to the ongoing Ebola outbreak. “Whenever we have information regarding this [Boko Haram] problem, we share information,” said Tchiroma. “Cameroon soldiers have instructions to defend our borders. So they will fight for as long as they are assaulted by Boko Haram to protect our borders.”

About 700 Nigerian troops reportedly crossed into Cameroon following heavy clashes with Boko Haram militants. “Indeed they crossed the border and they wanted us to give them the support they need,” said Tchiroma. “We welcomed them given the fact that we are in close relation with Nigeria, and we facilitated their temporary stay in our country, and they were taken back to their own nation.”Tchiroma says the government in Yaoundé helped the Nigerian soldiers to safely return home.

He said Cameroon closed its border with Nigeria in a bid to protect citizens from Ebola and dismissed suggestions that the military cooperation between the two countries could be derailed due to the closing.“We have decided not to spare any effort in order to contain the aggression and to push [Boko Haram] back to keep them out of our nation,” said Tchiroma.

He said the country is grateful for the pledge of international support to help Cameroon combat the security threat posed by Boko Haram militants.“Many other nations have promised to give us the assistance including The United States, European Union, France, China, [and]United Kingdom, have promised to give us the necessary support in terms of information, and any kind of necessary collaboration,” Tchiroma said.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. beegeagle says:


    26 August,

    Boko Haram Takfiri militants have taken control of more Nigerian towns as they press ahead with their attacks in the African country.A Cameroonian police source said on Tuesday that Boko Haram militants moved into the Nigerian town of Ashigashyia overnight Monday, where they killed three people in front of a church, after soldiers sent there fled to take refuge across the border in nearby Cameroon.

    Nearly 500 Nigerian soldiers escaped from the border towns of Ashigashyia and Kerawa over the weekend to take refuge from Boko Haram Takfiris on Cameroonian territory. On Monday, the Nigerian army dismissed reports that the soldiers had fled, claiming that it was a “tactical maneuver” as they pursued the militants.However,the officials in Cameroon said the troops fought a rearguard battle in the town of Gamboru Ngala before pulling out as they were outnumbered.

    Boko Haram militants also stormed Gamboru Ngala early on Monday and by evening had taken over the police station, a military barracks and vocational training center, where they had based themselves, according to locals.

    According to residents, the militants now control at least the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state as well as Gwoza and Gamboru Ngala in
    neighboring Borno state.

    In the northeastern state of Adamawa, which has been under a state of emergency along with Borno and Yobe states since May last year, local government officials said scores of gunmen attacked the town of Madagali on Saturday, forcing out soldiers and taking over government buildings.

    Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its militancy in 2009. Over 10,000 people have so far been killed in
    the assaults. Boko Haram –whose name means “Western education is forbidden”–says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government

  2. beegeagle says:

    LOCATION OF ASHIGASHIYA…so remote that some Western sources wrongly refer to the town as being a part of Cameroon, all of 53 years after the 1961 plebiscite.

    Is it coincidental that Gwoza, Ashigashiya, Gamboru-Ngala, Madagali and Kerawa all used to be part of British Northern Cameroons until 1961.

    My suspicion is and has always been that BH want to seize that most northeasterly sliver of territory which I call the “Ear of Nigeria” (adjacent to the most northerly corner of Cameroon where the El Beid River marks our common frontier) (see the ear-shaped area to the northeast of the redbox). The place is inaccessible, thinly populated and extremely remote from the rest of Cameroon and Nigeria. It is sure to make a good stronghold for that reason. BH have always wanted to flit back and forth across the Nigeria-Cameroon frontier.

  3. Buchi says:

    With unabbased border access they will like to seek a rear ground for housing weaponry and a much broader base of operation…oga beegs now I see that our doctrine of numbers isnt working at all.we must wake up and change our doctrine cos we have more land mass than we can police

  4. beegeagle says:

    That notion of a lean and mechanised military will not work for Nigeria. Nigeria’s problem, unlike other vast countries such as Algeria, Sudan or DR Congo is that we have settlements from end to end…from the sand dunes of Yusufari to Bassambiri in the Niger Delta. In times of war, except every square inch of territory is staked out, there shall always be the case of insurgents preying on isolated communities.


    ” I remember that, but that is neither here nor there.

    What is the magical correlation between 50,000 troops and professionalism? Most countries with a less than a quarter, a third or half of Nigeria’s population have larger armies – Algeria, Morocco, Burma, Turkey, Iraq, Ethiopia, The Philippines, Iran, Egypt BECAUSE there is correlation between geography, demography and manning. I do not see how the disproportionately large sizes of the Egyptian and Turkish armies have hampered their quest for professionalism.

    As of 1988, the defunct Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure enumerated 94,000 communities in Nigeria. Compared to that and the last time I checked, the DRC had 40,000 communities, Ethiopia 45,000 and the pre-partition Sudan had 35,000 communities.

    We face challenges of insurgency in which men have to be put on the ground. NORTHERN NIGERIA is equal in size(slightly larger as a matter of fact) to Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire put together OR FOUR times the size of Liberia and Sierra Leone put together.Half of that huge swathe of territory(equal in size to Germany) has been critically affected by insurgent attacks. There is a critical requirement for BOOTS on the ground since these chaps strike where they sense a vacuum.
    It is the same everywhere with COIN-CT operations. In Liberia we had a peak deployment of 13,000 troops, in Sierra Leone it was 19,000 men. That is 32,000 men to man an area the size of Scotland and England combined and there was still a deficit. I just said that Northern Nigeria is four times as large as the combined area of Liberia and Sierra Leone!

    The insurgent knuckleheads will attack every undefended church, every isolated police post, every vulnerable church and the COIN-CT operations are beyond what the Police alone can handle insofar as they only field rifles whereas the insurgents have RPGs, GPMGs, are massively IED-reliant and use suicide bombers.

    In the deep south, the Niger Delta is a labyrinth of 3014 creeks and waterways with 5,000 miles of pipelines, hundreds of remote flowstations and installations scattered across a daunting maritime area the size of Sierra Leone.

    The creeks call for patrols by triads and quartets of troops in river gunboats, the multimillion dollar flowstations need to be protected by squads and sections of troops as well. How many troops are we looking at ideally to effectively man that area where bunkering, piracy, insurgency and kidnapping are not going to quieten down before 2015 at the earliest?

    What manner of 50,000 troops was OBJ speculating about? Was that a joke? We need to get started with more than twice that number and with a 2,000-man NAF Regiment(plus 15,000 others) and a 3,000-man Naval Infantry Command (plus 15,000 others)

    They should forget the glib talk about ‘compact and professional.’ This is not Israel. Our land area is 45 times larger. China have not been in any war since 1978-79 against Vietnam. Their land is ten times larger, their population is eight times bigger but their military is more than twenty times larger. Does anyone know why, if not for the correlation between population size, land area and the need for MANNING? ”

    end of quote

    • rugged7 says:

      Oga Beeg, Excellent analysis…as usual

    • Are James says:

      In defence of Obj. I think it was actually Danjuma who brought this 50000 compact, portable, modern, professional bullshit. That would have worked only in a world without insurgencies and if we had 400combat aircraft airforce and strong paramilitary police. Same man said the President should lead into Sambisa. I think he should with Danjuma himself on his left and obj on the right.

    • Augustine says:

      Oga Beegeagle, thanks for hitting the nail till the wood begins to cry.

      I have advised Nigerian army to garrison every Nigerian town/village in the North East, they won’t hear me because I am a stammerer, I shouted since May/June till this August, nobody hear. Now Boko Haram is using the same garrison strategy to humiliate Nigeria.

      Sometimes a president needs to listen to other voices outside his close confidants and sift through wide range of suggestions to pick out common sense and borrow it for use. Thousands of Nigerians have been killed between the time I shouted garrison and today.

      If them like make them hear, Augustine talk him own 2 kobo for him father land. He that has an ear, let….

    • Bharat says:

      Good Analysis! General.

      As far as Israel goes, I wouldn’t call their army compact when they can call 40,000 reservists over-night.

      Also, I may be wrong but I have a view from limited exposure that the BH cannot be entirely classified as a sub-conventional insurgency, but a hybrid of both sub-conventional and conventional in terms of tactics used.

  5. peccavi says:

    Cameroun has obviously gotten over their gloating and realised that if Nigeria goes they are fucked. Now they’ve had their fun they are being a bitt more measured in their pronouncements

  6. cryptologist says:

    Thumbs-up, You could not have said it any better Gen. Beegs. Having a 15000 men airforce and same amount for navy ain’t it at all considering the huge size of nigeria’s coastline and creeks which sites the country’s economic heart. Meanwhile, i learn’t Paul Biya’s men killed 27 Haramites not far from Fotokol during the Gamboru/Ashigashiya confrontations.

  7. igbi says:

    the economist is at it again.

  8. ozed says:

    All these victories by the Cameroonians. Yet Boko haram’s safest redoubts are in Cameroon, and these victories are never accompanied with pix. Hope all these reports are accurate ooo!

  9. doziex says:

    The day NA would start mounting these 14.5 mm guns on their ford ranger trucks like the Cameroonian army, that is the day they would stop getting overran and routed by BH.

    Study those that use these weapons, and why the use them.

    Also study those that don’t use them, BUT understand why they can afford not to.

    As the americans invaded Iraq in op Iraqi freedom, the Iraqi army melted away as any resistance was futile, and entire armored and mechanized divisions were decimated in the twinkle of an eye by land and air, by the greatest combat machine known to man in the gulf war of 91.

    So the 2nd time around, it was the auxiliary units, the Fedayeen Sadam that took the battle in technicals to the americans.
    With the exception of a deadly ambush, and a direct RPG hit on a US marine amphibian tractor, the US forces largely swatted these technicals away like flies.

    Here, Technicals were not effective, the americans had way too much armor, way to much coordinated fire power, and way to much situational awareness.

    The French in op Sevral, and in Ivory coast where also very coordinated, but had less armor and fire power.
    Here, precision strikes by jets and attack helicopters as well as the stand off range of the Milan HOT ATGMs, rendered technicals null and void.

    They Kenyans possibly with some US drone recon and targeting aid, decimated Al shababs fleets of technicals/ guntrucks.
    Remember, Somalia was were the word technicals was coined.

    And it’s use by all factions was wide spread. Here technicals were used to out range other technicals . These 50 cal. bullets were so dangerous, that the warring clans stayed far away from each other.
    They just destroyed buildings and mowed down civillians.

    In chad the chadians used there Toyota technicals to rout gaddafi’s armored and mechanized force.

    The Libyan’s airpower was limited by the French jaguars and F-1 mirages, So Chadian gun trucks out maneuvered and ultimately routed kaddafis forces.

    Like wise in angola, SADF aided savimbi’s forces with similar contraptions and strategy. Unita’s Toyotas mounted with AA guns and recoilless rifles harassed fapla and Cuban armored units.
    of course, the SAAF kept the FAPLA/CUBAN jets honest.

    Since chad’s victory over Libya in the 1980’s, the use of technicals spread like wild fire in most African armies, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NIGERIA.

    I believe NA just thought that it was beneath it’s status. NOT whether it was effective or not.
    After all, we had 72 or so VBLs which was armed with the 50 cal. browning machine gun.

    Well those paltry numbers, even with the addition of 204 Otokar Cobra’s mounted with an even less ranging gun, were simply never enough.
    Numbers didn’t suffice in Liberia, sierra leone and certainly not now in the NE.

    The French that used these VBLs, used them along with VBL troop carriers, ERC Sagaie with night sights. Gazelle tow equipped attack helicopters and of course in OP sevral, the tiger attack helicopter and the Rafale.
    vehicle mounted, hand held or helicopter equipped guided missile was never far from reach.

    So if NA wants to copy the west, then spend some real money and copy their entire Orbat and doctrine.
    If you don’t have the Money or you would rather spend it on other pursuits ( Nigerian politicians that is ), then make do like the Chadians, or even the Nigeriens and the Cameroonians.

    Mount some Gaddamn Anti Aircrafts guns on your damned thin skinned trucks So you can at least match the lead BH is throwing your way.

    • peccavi says:

      If you think the key to victory is mounting AA guns then I am extremely disappointed in you

      • Augustine says:

        Oga Peccavi, my own understanding of what Oga doziex is saying is that Nigerian soldiers have been complaining of being outgunned by Bokos 14.5mm and 23mm gun Toyota technical as Boko Haram standard weapon against Nigerian army’s inferior standard weapon..Cobra and Toyota with 12.7mm and 5.56mm guns.

        Range, rate of fire, muzzle velocity, ballistic penetration power are all in favor of Boko Haram, surely they have been using that with RPG to win battles and hold territory for long periods making Nigerian army to retreat in battle.

        AK-47 is not the strength of Boko Haram. It is the 14.5mm gun Toyota and RPG….reason why Nigerian soldiers run away like day old fowl when power pass power, a soldier in frontline confessed to us that he did Usain Bolt into the Bush when 14.5mm bullets told him that heaven is nearer today than yesterday.

      • doziex says:

        It would be a good start.

        Something that doesn’t require input from HQ.

        At the end of the day, NA needs to throw more lead down range to stop BH from constantly overrunning them.
        You know of NA experience with the SHILKA in SLR.

        Watch Cameroon and chad, stand their ground better against BH that is routing NA troops, all because of these weapons that allows one to concentrate a lot of fire power on the enemy in any engagement.

      • Are James says:

        This is some admirably colourful language in your last paragraph but I bet some of these soldiers are not experienced at all. I have had the same bs for years, usually comes from inexperienced soldiers and goes somehow like this; ” we shot at them then they replied, then we sort of compared calibres of weaponry from the sound they made, theirs versus ours, found they had a higher calibre of weapons than us and because of that we beat a retreat”…lol.

  10. G8T Nigeria says:

    Well I think boko haram have not made serious attempts to bother cameruon so they may use Nigeria to show military might. When the dance changes then we see.

  11. peccavi says:

    Ogas Doziex and Augustine, you are wrong.
    Boko Harams strength is their mobility, both foot and vehicular. With motorcycles and pick ups they can concentrate strength against a selected target quicker than we can respond.
    Having 12.7mm or 14.5mm makes no difference, we have 105mm T 55s, 12.7mm on Panhards, 105mm Light guns, ZSU 23-4mm Shilka, 81mm mortars.
    Boko Haram does not out gun the Nigeria Army. If we like sellotape RPGs to beetle or weld 14.5mm to a Toyota Landcruiser, the problem is not what we use but how we use it.
    If those platforms aren’t used either as aggressive fighting patrols acting as wolf packs or else combined with infantry platoons as mobile fire support, or used as QRF for fixed positions then we are wasting out time.
    Like I have said many times, it is not the equipment, it is how you use it.

    Light infantry can defeat tanks, much less technicals

    If we take out the technical BH will revert to motorcycles and foot soldiers, they will swarm and close with our vehicle patrols and try to sneak close to foot patrols.

    Again the key will be discipline, fire control, marksmanship and support fires.

    Nigeria has good battle rifles, good grenades, machine guns, mortars, artillery etc. Its how they are put together that is the problem

    • Augustine says:

      Oga Peccavi, on the 14.5mm and 23mm guns of Boko Haram, doziex and myself are right. The report is backed up by complaints from both rank and file of Nigerian army on the battlefield, from privates, sergeants to captain, they all complain and ask for the same ‘balance of firepower’.

      Not my idea, the Nigerian soldiers on the front-line want it. It will surprise you to know that many Nigerian soldiers found themselves in battle holding AK-47 against Boko Haram 14.5mm twin guns ! Our boys had no other weapon in those instances.

      The few working (Many are not serviceable, Cobra is our mainstay) Nigerian army tanks and artillery you talk about, are scantily spread over the whole NE zone, land bigger than Britain. Trust, many of our boys face 14.5mm with ordinary AK-47.

      Only 50 Palmaria artillery can move around, the rest are towed. 50 artillery for 250,000 square kilometers of land, and artillery does not move in bogland, jungle, and rocky terrain.

      Suicide mission, boys run, who go blame them? Mama Bomboy day for house, Baba Bomboy wan fight, but no wan die like chicken. The brass hats who issued him rifle to fight twin cannon, are feeling cool at home with their own wives.

      Give the soldiers more firepower to match the enemy, nobody is a Rambo one man army.

  12. Oje says:

    It baffes me when people think bigger guns is the key, seriously i thought by now it shoud be bvious. Take a look at their MO, Boko Haram has for a long time not attacked military units with a 3 to 1 ratio in numerical superiority. If there are 100 militay perssonel in an army or airforce base they attack with 200 or 300 men. If there are 10 soldiers manning check points, they attack woth 30 men. Take a look at all their successful campagine and you see they attack with far more men. Now how can they do this? how do they always seem to have the right number of men to use consistently? simple : INTEL/SPIES. I villages they have spies, even in the military establishments they have spies. They get raw intel and unless we start making use of our own Intelligence assets they will always outwit us and outgun us. Boko Haram is no match for the Army, no Army in West Africa is.

    Solution? get some human intel on the ground. As Boko Haram entices them with money or threat to report troop formation outmaneuver them as well. Plant some plain cloths human intel in those villages and for Christ sake we have 5 Satellites in Space that we spent hundreds of millions of dollars putting them into orbit, we have drones or can get drones if we want. Unlike in the Niger Delta we have vast open stretch of lands and desert that makes masking a vast column of armed militants nearly impossible from the air. You can never defeat an enemy that can accurate pin point exactly where you are at will and launch attacks with numerically superior men. They cant do this against Cameroon because they lack virtually or non existent spies in Cameroon giving them enemy positions.

    You cannot scramble fighter Jets blindly without good intel unless you want them to wipeout these villages together with Civilians, that is peace of cake in that case.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga I would suggest their intelligence network in Cameroun is vastly superior to what theey have in Nigeria. In Cameroun they still have popular support and have not yet started killing innocent villagers randomly.

      Out intelligence failues come down again to our indiscipline way of doing things. Army barracks are over crowded places with so many hangers on and such nonsense. Soldiers have their phones, they buy food from vendors, g to bars.
      The type of human intelligence we need can only be obtained by using extremely courageous people who would volunteer to be captured by BH and pretend to join them. At a critical point the person will escape and provide info on their movements tactics strengths, or else use hunters, train them how t use video and still cameras and GPS and let them go and find BH

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