Cameroon has sentenced 89 Boko Haram terrorists to death after a court convicted them on terror charges.
The charges stem from “several attacks in Cameroon’s northern region which borders Nigeria.” It is the first time the country has sentenced anyone to death under its anti-terror law, which they passed in 2014.
Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate, originated in Nigeria, but expanded to neighboring countries in 2015. Cameroon has joined forces with Nigeria, Chad, and Niger to stop the insurgency.
The terrorist group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State a year ago, but reports have shown little has come to fruition.
“Nothing has changed in the Boko Haram camp since Shekau’s declaration,” explained Nigerian security analyst Abdullahi Bawa Wase, adding:
It has failed to bring in ISIS fighters. It has not attracted ISIS weapons and cash, which many feared would happen. On the contrary, Boko Haram is weaker than it was before the declaration, which is evident from the drastic drop in deadly attacks. Even the rate of suicide bombings has slowed.
In February, the Cameroon government and Nigerian forces liberated more than 850 Boko Haram hostages in the town of Kumshe. One soldier described the scene as “one of the main logistics bases and an important center of decision and pulse criminal actions plotted and launched by the Boko Haram terrorists towards the Cameroonian territory.” The soldiers also discovered “an extensive weapons arsenal in the town, including terrorist training manuals, explosive belts, landmines, firearms, and other explosives.”
Four suicide attacks killed at least 29 and wounded 65 in Cameroon in January. Boko Haram never took credit for the attack, but officials placed the blame on the terrorist group. Two bombers attacked the central market while the other two bombers took out “the town’s main entrance and exit points.”
“We have information the four bombers came from Nigeria. We are investigating where they spent the night before attacking the market,” said Governor Midjiyawa Bakari.
In late December, a woman bombed a town in Cameroon’s north region. Other Boko Haram militants encircled three food trucks during the attack, but did not kill anyone.
In August, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari demanded his military destroy Boko Haram in three months. Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria since 2009, killing an excess of 20,000 and spreading into Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. The attacks have displaced over 1.5 million people.
On Christmas Eve, Buhari asserted the military met its deadline and had won the war against Boko Haram since the terrorist group allegedly could no longer launch massive attacks.
“I think, technically, we have won the war,” he said. “Boko Haram is an organized fighting force, I assure you, [but] we have dealt with them.”