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Boko Haram gun-running in Cameroon

November 18, 2014

Gun-running in West and Central African

Boko Haram is trafficking arms in far northern Cameroon, according to military officials and news sources. An arms seizure led to at least one arrest in January, and a gendarme raid in the central market of Maroua, the regional capital, led to the arrest of 40 suspects connected with trafficking arms for the jihadist group in June.  Weapons and their proceeds are used in Boko Haram strongholds in northeastern Nigeria of Yobe and Borno.

Furthermore, Cameroon is being exploited by Chadian, Libyan, and Qatari networks to smuggle weapons on Boko Haram’s behalf according to a recent and informative report from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point by Jacob Zenn with internal citations omitted (h/t El Grillo):

…The tie between arms traffickers and Boko Haram commanders was also highlighted in key arrests in Cameroon. One Chadian weapons trafficker was arrested in Waza [Cameroon] in June 2014 working on behalf of a Maroua-based Boko Haram commander and possessed $15,000 from deals that he made in Chad. Days before his arrest, Cameroon uncovered weapons stockpiles in Maroua’s central market. In addition, in June 2014, Cameroon discovered travel documents from Libya (Africa’s largest arms market since 2011) and Qatar and receipts from car exports to Qatar in a Boko Haram camp, which suggests a possible link to Alhaji Abdalla, who was Boko Haram’s negotiator in the [kidnapping of the French family] Moulin-Fournier and other kidnappings…

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