This was made known to Reuters on Thursday by some military officers and residents whom revealed that the Islamist sect accused Arabic speakers of helping Chad’s army in their onslaught against the terrorists.
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According to Cameroonian military authorities, such reprisal attacks carried out against Shuwa Arabs, an ethnic group speaking the form of Arabic common in Chad, had forced no fewer than 10,000 refugees from Nigeria into Cameroon in the past weeks.
Recall that Chad deployed about 2,500 soldiers to Nigeria’s border regions with Cameroon and Niger as part of the regional effort to end the Boko Haram menace which has for the past six years ravaged and threatened the stability of the region.
Chadian troops have recorded huge successes against the sect members in the ongoing war, reclaiming formerly captured towns from the Islamists militants and pushing them back from the border region with Niger and Cameroon.
However, Cameroonian Special Forces Major Belthus Kwene claimed that the terrorists in border villages near Cameroon had singled out many Shuwa Arabs for reprisals.
“Boko Haram has branched into a sort of massacre strategy against the Arab population that are suspected to be collaborators with the Chadian forces,” Kwene said.
Meanwhile, Chadian Arabic, also known as Shuwa Arabic, is spoken by over a million people spread across southern Chad, northern Nigeria, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic and Sudan.
Many of the refugees who camped in the Cameroonian villages of Amchoukouli, Wangara, Djabrari and Nigue were women and children. They revealed that Boko Haram militants had massacred all the men in their villages.
One of the affected women, a Nigerian refugee in Djabrari, who gave her name as Fanne, said Boko Haram fighters killed 25 men, adding that the terrorists forced the whole village to assemble before embarking on a killing spree.
“Nobody escaped. They shot some and slaughtered others with machetes and axes,” she said.
Fanne, like the hundred others who managed to escape the sect’s reprisal attacks, sleeps under a tree with the few belongings and domestic animals she took while fleeing to Cameroon. Many other refugees have moved further south to the main refugee camp in Minawao, which is reportedly overcrowded with over 33,000 people currently living there.
Hayatou Oumarou, the administrative head of the border town of Fotokol, said: “These people are hoping that peace will return soon so that they can go back to their communities. They prefer to wait here.”
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in a bloody campaign to create an Islamic caliphate in the north of Africa’s largest oil-producing nation, but recently the sect members have met strong resistance from the Nigerian military, which has put them in disarray.
Meanwhile, an audiotape released on March 12, Thursday, purportedly from the spokesman of the Islamic State group, revealed that it has accepted the pledge of allegiance recently made to it by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Recall that the most-wanted Nigerian terrorist, in an audiotape on Saturday, said: “We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim al-Husseini al-Qurashi,” referring to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.