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)
VOICE OF AMERICA
14 October 2015
President Barack Obama is sending U.S. military personnel to Cameroon to conduct airborne surveillance of Boko Haram militants.
The president announced the deployment in a letter sent Wednesday to the heads of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The letter makes no mention of Boko Haram, but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the move is part of a regional effort to stop the spread ofbthe Nigerian militant group and other extremists.
Boko Haram has been active in northern Cameroon, across the border from its home base of northeastern Nigeria. Obama said about 90 U.S. military personnel began deploying to Cameroon on Monday. He said more will follow to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the region. The total U.S. force is expected to number about 300.
Press Secretary Earnest said the troops will act in coordination with Cameroon’s government, and that the troops are armed for their own security, not for a combat role.
Boko Haram has killed hundreds of civilians in Cameroon in addition to at least 10,000 in Nigeria over the past few years.
Cameroon is one of the countries taking part in a joint regional task force to fight the militant group, which seeks to create a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.Other countries in the task force are Chad, Niger and Benin.