A picture taken on February 17, 2015 shows Cameroonian soldiers patrolling the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. (AFP photo)
Soldiers in the north of Cameroon
have blocked a highway to demand a government action on their unpaid salaries
A Cameroonian army source said Sunday that about 50 armed soldiers briefly stopped traffic in the road in the Far North region and demanded officials to pay them two years’ worth of salaries and other expenses that they said they were owed.
“Soldiers from the air force…took up arms against the advice of their military
hierarchy and blocked national route 1 after dismantling their posts at the frontier,” said a military
source in Maroua, the capital of the region.
Army generals then intervened and convinced the soldiers to return to their barracks, another source said.
There was no comment from the military on how much money the soldiers demanded. A government spokesman also declined to elaborate on whether the salaries will be paid. He said Cameroon’ defense minister, who is currently out of the country, would lead the negotiations with the soldiers. The spokesman said that the Sunday mutiny was over and that the situation was fully under control.
The northern regions of Cameroon have seen a surge in violence over the past few years, especially after militants of the Boko Haram, a Takfiri group based in neighboring Nigeria, started to launch attacks on civilians and security forces to compensate for Cameroon’s involvement in a regional drive against the group. Attacks by Boko Haram have subsided this year as a result of the successful campaign. However, military forces still feel the pressure as nine soldiers were killed by the group last month in neighboring Chad.