By Tata Mbunwe
Farmers in parts of Cameroon’s Far North region are abandoning their maize, millet, and sorghum fields after Boko Haram group warned they should not be seen in their farms as the 2021 harvest season draws near.
In Sougoulé village located in the Mokolo district in Mayo Tsanaga Division, militants targeted and killed a woman in the early hours of Thursday, March 4, as she was preparing to go to the farm.
The group also kidnapped two young boys in the same village.
An inhabitant of the locality said the Islamist sect had warned local farmers not to go to their fields.
These farmers, most of who are practicing small-scale agriculture, are preparing for harvest, from where most of them are making a living.
Hunger rates are expected to surge in upcoming weeks and months if farmers do not have a freeway into their fields.
The “situation that is becoming more and more complicated,” says MMI Far North correspondent.
Although there is a local vigilante committee, reports say they were helpless amid Thursday’s attack launched by an impressive number of combatants who came heavily armed.
According to locals, the military is still to put up a counter to the Boko Haram attacks expected anytime soon.
The local vigilante committee has the heavyweight of containing the militants and securing individuals’ property for the moment.
Cameroon’s army, alongside a Joint Multinational Task Force consisting of troops from Nigeria, Chad, and Niger, is pushing back the Book Haram insurgents, who are have resolved mostly to guerilla warfare and suicide bombings.
The Nigeria-based group started activities in Cameroon in 2014, the same year the Cameroon government declared war on them.
Boko Haram has wreaked havoc on the populations of the Far North region, killing several hundreds of people and displacing at least 322,000 others, according to Human Rights Watch, HRW.
On August 1, 2020, the group launched a fatal attack on the locality of Nguetchewe which displaced “over 1,500 people, both residents of and those sheltered at the site,” according to HRW.