Cameroon plans to send an additional 2,000 soldiers to its Far North region after three suicide bomb attacks in the regional capital Maroua in the past week by suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group, state radio said on Monday.
The move came after a raft of measures in recent days to tighten security in Maroua, including a ban on burqas, hawking and begging. Authorities in Cameroon\’s main port of Douala have also banned burqas.
The government has also shut down some mosques and Islamic schools in the Far North and imposed a curfew on bars after 6 p.m. local time.
Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck confirmed a troop increase in the Far North but declined to provide further details.
"For security reasons, we cannot divulge the exact number of troops that will be deployed," he told Reuters.
The central African nation has already deployed some 7,000 troops, alongside soldiers from Chad, Niger and Nigeria, to tackle Boko Haram\’s six-year insurgency which has threatened the stability of the Lake Chad region.
The suicide bomb attacks in Maroua over the past week marked the deepest incursion by suspected Boko Haram militants into Cameroonian territory.
Nigerian president in Cameroon Wednesday over Boko Haram
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to neighbouring Cameroon on Wednesday to consult with counterpart Paul Biya on Boko Haram\’s insurgency, presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said.
"President Buhari is going to Cameroon on Wednesday. He will hold talks with President Biya on arrival on Wednesday and the issue of Boko Haram will be central in their discussion," he told AFP on Monday.
"The visit is part of the consultation on the Boko Haram insurgency. He was to have gone on the visit in June but for the invitation to Germany by the G7," Adesina said of Buhari\’s participation last month in the German-hosted summit of leading industrialised nations– his first major international meeting as Nigerian president.
Since his inauguration on May 29, Buhari has visited Chad and Niger, two neighbouring countries jointly fighting Boko Haram along with Nigeria.