October 19, 2015
Pham on Cameroon and Boko Haram
The phenomenon is not unique to Cameroon. At least since last year, Boko Haram has abducted, recruited and deployed child soldiers in Nigeria, Chad and Niger, according to J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. But the expansion of Boko Haram’s activities in Cameroon has been especially striking.
Cameroon’s own elite force, the Rapid Response Brigade, known by its French acronym as the BIR, has recently moved north in response to Boko Haram’s activities. But the group that trained heavily for amphibious assaults is operating in a part of the country with little water, and was never trained for a longstanding battle against a ferocious terror group. “We are not dealing with a battle-hardened military,” says Pham at the Atlantic Council.