Much like fellow jihadist extremist group ISIS, Nigeria’s Boko Haram is beginning to see just how lucrative kidnapping schemes can be. The country of Cameroon recently paid the Islamic extremist group $400,000 in order to secure the release of 27 victims, at least 17 of whom has been kidnapped in July in the town of Kolofata, where Cameroon shares a border with Nigeria. Among the victims was Francoise Agnes Moukouri, who is the spouse of Cameron’s vice-prime minister Amadou Ali. Ali himself returned to the residence to find total chaos and no sign of his wife, reported The Independent.
Along with the vice prime minister’s wife, Boko Haram had captured several Chinese construction workers in May who were working on an unnamed project in the area. Perhaps because of their interest in releasing their own, China financed the deal with Boko Haram. In turn, ten construction workers were released. In addition to supplying Boko Haram with $400,000, which stands to strengthen the group considerably, Cameroon also agreed to arm and give a large trove of ammunition to the extremist group, reported Sahara Reporters.
Cameroon’s Minister of Communications Issa Tchiroma Bakary told Reuters that despite the group being relieved to have escaped the grasp of Boko Haram, they were all looking a bit worse for wear.
“You can imagine that after the ordeal they are very happy to be released and very relieved. But they are very weak. They are in very poor physical condition.”
Also involved in the deal was neighboring country Chad, which Sahara Reporters claims utilized its president Idris Derby’s connections with Boko Haram to help negotiate the deal. Nigerian activism network ENDS has condemned the actions of Cameroon and Chad, saying that they now have a hand in Boko Haram’s reign of terror in Nigeria.
“There is no justification for the provision of cash, arms and ammunition by Cameroon and Chad to Boko Haram to use to kill innocent Nigerians, Cameroonians and other foreigners. This act Nigeria’s neighbors stand accused of is an act of terrorism and a declaration of war.”
ENDS continued to tear down the actions of Nigeria’s neighbors, attacking their credibility by bringing up their prior failure to assist in the fight against Boko Haram.
“It is unfortunate and serious that Cameroon’s statements can no longer be trusted as they have been caught lying on serious regional security matters on too many occasions recently. It can be recollected that Cameroon falsely claimed to have killed late Boko Haram terrorist leader, Abubakar Shekau (his double), not knowing that the Nigerian army actually had a video tape of him when they caught him alive, before they – the Nigerian army – killed him.”
[Image via Flickr]