A suspected Boko Haram suicide member, last Wednesday on June 29, 2016, hit a small locality in Northern Cameroon, just some few kilometers from the border with Nigeria. The attack was staged at about 9:30 pm Cameroon time (8:30pm GMT) on a video club where young men had gathered to screen some movies. Following the bomb blast, 10 persons died on the spot, the 11th died the following morning in the Regional Hospital of Maroua, and others are still battling between life and dead. The Associated Press is quoted to have reported that the death toll has risen to 15.
The Governor of the Far North Region, Midjiyawa Bakary, while speaking on state radio frowned at those inhabitants of his region who now defy the curfew that is still in place and keep late hours. He, however, promised tough sanctions against such persons. The Minister of Communication and Government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakari, who in such situations would always make a public statement, is yet to comment on this latest happening.
This comes at the peak of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan, in a region that is predominantly Muslim. For some while now, there has been a lull in the activities of Boko Haram, to the extent that many erroneously thought the conflict has come to an end. These were certainly the thoughts of these young men who defied the still enforced curfew to keep late hours, and the consequences have been enormous. The last major attack on suspected members of Boko Haram on Cameroonian soil was just on the eve of National Day celebration on May 20, 2016, where about 3 persons were killed.
With this pause in attacks, many have mistakenly gone with the belief that the conflict has ended and it is just a matter of time for the Boko Haram episode to close. However, with no real conflict management mechanism in place, we may just be moving into another phase of the Boko Haram conflict, which is worse than the previous. In July 2009, the death of its former leader, Muhammad Yusuf brought a sigh of relief that led many to celebrate the end of Boko Haram. Meanwhile, the conflict was still on. Suddenly, Abubakar Shekau emerged as the new leader and has been more ruthless than Yusuf.