U.S. to support Cameroon military in Boko Haram fight

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 18, 2015 5:06 AM

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - The United States will help Cameroon's army secure equipment to fight Boko Haram, its embassy in Cameroon said on Wednesday, as it deepens its commitment to countering the jihadist group.

Boko Haram militants have killed and kidnapped thousands in a six-year insurgency in Nigeria and are stepping up cross-border attacks on neighbors despite a major regional offensive against them.

In the latest strike, guerrillas ambushed an army patrol near the town of Waza in Cameroon this week and an intense gun battle ensued, killing five soldiers.

"My government is working on a logistic pipeline of material that will enhance Cameroon's ability to defend itself from Boko Haram," U.S. ambassador to Cameroon Michael Stephen Hoza said in a notice published in a local paper on Wednesday.

He did not elaborate on what would be provided, saying only that it would be "equipment necessary to defend the country".

Earlier this week, the commander of U.S. Special Forces operations in Africa pledged to help African nations in the fight against the group.

Major General James Linder said the United States would provide technology allowing African partners to communicate between cellphones, radios and computers.

(Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Giles Elgood)