President Barack Obama notified Congress on Monday that he would be deploying 300 US troops and surveillance drones to counter the militant group Boko Haram. Nearly 90 troops began deployment as early as Monday.
“This deployment is in advance of the deployment of additional US Armed Forces personnel to Cameroon to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region,” Mr Obama wrote.
“These forces are equipped with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security, and they will remain in Cameroon until their support is no longer needed.”
US officials, who remained anonymous, told Reuters that troops would provide intelligence to a multi-national task force to fight the Nigerian militant group. They would first be deployed near Garoua in northern Cameroon, near the Nigerian border.
Earlier this year, Boko Haram aligned itself with Isis, and on Sunday, two suicide bombers killed nine people and wounded at least 29 others in the Cameroon village of Kangeleri. The Associated Press reports that both suicide bombers were females aged 13-17-years-old.
Cameroon's Minister of Communications Issa Tchiroma Bakary told the news agency that similar bombings have raised fears that the militants may be using kidnap victims to carryout the attacks and the aftermath makes it difficult to determine each youngster's age.
"They have shifted their tactics. They have noticed it is impossible to face our forces, so they are now using young girls or young boys with explosives, who go more undetected, in areas they are told to go," Mr Bakary said. "We guess that they use the girls who were kidnapped here and there, they brainwash them and use them."
In July, President Obama met with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari at the White House to discuss tactics to end the terror's groups regime. Mr Obama then said he'd hoped to provide military aid to end the crisis.
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