A group of villagers were found dead near the Gambaru displaced persons camp in Fotokol (Far North region) on Wednesday, February 12. According to media reports, nine men were killed while looking for women who disappeared after leaving early on Wednesday morning (local time) to draw water. Boko Haram militants are suspected of being behind the attack. Search operations for the women are ongoing.
A heightened security presence is expected in the area over the near term. Similar Boko Haram attacks are also possible over the near term.
Although regional counterinsurgency efforts begun in 2015 and led by West African states Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger have diminished Boko Haram's effective territorial control, Amnesty International recently showed concerns about the resurgence of terrorist attacks in the area. Boko Haram's stronghold remains in northeastern Nigeria and the majority of its activities are concentrated in this area. However, the Far North region of Cameroon, especially areas along the Nigerian border, also regularly experiences attacks; the group's presence in Far North dates back to at least 2011.
Individuals present in Cameroon are advised to limit time in areas deemed particularly likely to be targeted in a terrorist attack (crowded markets, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities. Some Western governments advise against travel to the Far North region, as well as other areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic; travel to these areas should only be considered with appropriate security protocols in place.
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