Monday, 1 September 2014

Following the forceful conscription of youths by Boko Haram to fight against the Nigerian and Cameroonian army in the border areas and in Gambouru town, thousands have now fled their homes, flooding the north of neighbouring Cameroon.

Over 200 youths were said to have fled to the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol and three other villages yesterday morning as anyone who refused to be conscripted was slaughtered by the insurgents.

One of the youths who pleaded anonymity said: “I had no alternative, other than to join my colleagues by dawn yesterday to flee for our safety. These gunmen had been telling us to join them to fight our soldiers here and at the borders with Cameroon and Chad; after promising us some money and rifles ‘to do the work of God’. But some of us decided to take our fate in our hands by fleeing to Cameroon. By noon yesterday, August 31, about 215 of us converged on Fotokol with broken limbs and bruises, while fleeing to cross the River and bushes with desert tracks. Once they sighted you fleeing, they shoot you, as we have refused to join them.”

He said the targets of the insurgents were to “forcefully conscript” youths between the ages of 18 and 25 who are conversant with Gamboru  and its border areas with Cameroon.

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