A cold diplomatic war is brewing between Nigeria and Cameroon after no fewer than 80 of their gendarmes reportedly invaded a Nigerian community in Cross River State on Monday, January 20, 2018.
According to monitored reports, the gendarmes allegedly crossed the international border between Nigeria and Cameroun and invaded Danare community in the Boki Local Government Area of the state.
The action which is seen as a breach of Nigeria’s territorial border is seriously causing serious tension between the countries as residents have been fleeing from their homes and taking refuge in the forest.
According to community sources, the gendarmes, on invading the community, claimed that they were fighting Cameroonian militants who took refuge in the community but ended up terrorizing the residents and extorting money from them.
A Calabar-based journalist who confirmed the incident to The Nigerian News, said there are over 5,000 Cameroonian refugees seeking asylum in Danare 1 and 2 communities following the unrest in the southern part of Cameroon towards the end of last year.
The journalist also confirmed that this is not the first time the Cameroonian gendarmes from the Bodam community had invaded Danare as they had done so in October of 2017 where they killed two local farmers.
It was also gathered that in December of 2017, the gendarmes had also invaded the same Danare village and abducted five persons on the pretext that they were suspects involved in the fight for the creation of Ambazonia Republic being clamored for the people of Southern Cameroon.
A group of Danare indigenes led by a former councilor in the Boki LGA, Mr. Douglas Ogar, who spoke with journalists in Calabar, said the gendarmes stormed their village around 2am on Monday and started shooting sporadically.
“Our people did not sleep on Monday because gendarmes from Cameroun invaded our community, claiming they were looking for Ambazonia militants.
The Cameroonian militants who have since taken refuge in the surrounding forests were also shooting back and the whole community was in chaos.
It is important to recall the sad invasion of Danare communities by the Cameroonian soldiers which first started on January 25, when more than 80 armed Cameroonian soldiers with various ranges of military weapons and arms crossed the international boundary in the Danare-Daddi/Danare-Bodam international border openings and abducted five natives.
By the time they left on Monday morning, they said their mission was to warn residents of Danare communities to prepare for their return to carry out a military raid which, according to them, was to cleanse Danare communities of all Ambazonia refugees’ threat to the Cameroonian government.
We feel disappointed with the way the Nigerian government has handled this. As I speak, we are living in fear. I am sure they have come to keep surveillance and they have seen that the community is porous.
This is a calculated offensive from Cameroonian gendarmes and military on Nigeria. They have shown outright defiance to the supremacy of Nigerian territorial sovereignty and blighted the consequences of crossing the international boundary to carry out all sorts of intimidation and harassment on already alarmed residents of Danare, with warnings of further assaults.”
However, the Cross River State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, said the matter was being handled at the highest level of government in the country and that the people should remain calm.
“The issue has gone beyond the police. The Nigerian Army has just deployed a battalion in the area. No Nigerian has been killed and as you know, this is an international issue which is being handled at the highest level of government,” Ngaji said.
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