President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to visit Cameroon Monday to discuss security matters with the neighbouring country’s President, Paul Biya.
During the visit, the two leaders will reflect on the common strategy to adopt against the violent Islamic sect Boko Haram, who kidnapped several French citizens in 2013 in Cameroon’s northern region.
Nigeria and Cameroon share a land border of more than 1000 kilometres as well as a maritime border.
The visit comes a week after Cameroonian authorities claimed that Nigerian troops battling the sect chased some of its members into Bankili and Amchide in its territory.
It was gathered that the deadly confrontation in Cameroon’s Northern Province left two Nigerian soldiers and four civilians dead.
Nigeria’s military confirmed that its troops engaged members of the violent Islamic group at its border with Cameroon, but denied entering into the Cameroonian territory during the exchange of fire with the insurgents.
Confirming the incident, director of the Nigerian Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a major-general said: “Yes, there was a clash between our troops and a band of terrorists. But it did not occur in Cameroonian territory. There was no incursion into their territory.”
He said further; “What happened was that some members of the Boko Haram terrorists regrouped inside Cameroon and were moving into Nigeria to unleash violence. However, they were pushed back from the Nigerian territory up to the Bankili bridge. This is the bridge between Nigerian and Cameroon. We cannot call the bridge Cameroonian territory. They crossed into Nigeria and we chased them into the bridge and fought them there.”
Cameroon northern region is a hotbed of terrorism blamed largely on Boko Haram, which has launched violent attacks in northern Nigeria since 2009, accounting for the loss of thousands of lives.
Cameroon has reinforced security in its northern border with Nigeria, Chad and Central Africa Republic, setting up new military, gendarmerie and police units in the area.
President Jonathan has just returned from Davos, Switzerland where he attended the World Economic Forum to brainstorm with other world leaders and business tycoons on some of the challenges facing our world and to woo investors to the country.