Following is the introductory statement by the Minister of Communication, IssaTchiromaBakary during a press conference in Yaounde, January 10, 2017.
« Distinguished Journalists,
I wish you a warm welcome to this encounter during which we will be discussing on the latest developments at the front line of the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
As a matter of fact, following the repeated incursions of the Boko Haram terrorists into our territory, our valiant Defense and Security Forces under the banner of the Multinational Joint Taskforce, in perfect synergy with the Army of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, have been conducting special operations since 19 December 2016 in the locality of Ngoshe and its surroundings in the Nigerian territory.
This ongoing major offensive has enabled the Forces of the Coalition led by the Cameroonian Forces to occupy this part of the Nigerian territory. It was made possible thanks to intelligence from various sources.
The operation itself consists in searching the area, in order to definitely dismantle the logistic bases of the Boko Haram terrorists.
At this point in time, the balance sheet of the operations is as follows:
– several manufacturing units of explosive devices were destroyed;
– a dozen of explosive devices was neutralized
– training camps were dismantled;
– a hundred of terrorists were definitively neutralized;
– over thirty fighters were captured and handed over to Nigerian Forces;
– hundreds of hostages were freed and handed over to Nigerian Forces.
Unfortunately, during this victorious operation, three soldiers of our Defence Forces were killed. These were:
– On January 2, 2017, Private GODWE Fulbert of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, who bumped into an improvised explosive device during a search operation in suspected houses;
– On January 7, 2017, Private ABESSOLO BILOA Aimé Prosper and NGONDI Boris Parfait, both of the Rapid Intervention Battalion who were fired by the enemies while clearing the way for their mates.
The three elements who died during this fight were part of the 2014 batch of the Rapid Intervention Batalion of our Armed Forces.
For the three years they spent within the Army, they were disciplined, hard-working servicemen, and showcased a remarkable sense of self-denial.
The entire Nation pays homage to the respective memories of its three worthy sons who fell in the field of honour, for their sense of honour, their sense of sacrifice, their courage and patriotism which cost them the most valuable asset, I mean their lives.
The President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul BIYA, addresses his most heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. On his behalf, we express to them, the compassion of the entire Nation and the comfort of the State.
In this regard, I should mention that the sacrifice of the three valiant sons of the Nation who fell at the war front should remain an example for each of us, in this war imposed on us by an enemy from elsewhere, a war that no one in our country would have wished to fight.
Beyond the success of this yet another victorious operation against crime and obscurantism as embodied by Boko Haram, it is worth reminding that His Excellency Paul BIYA, President of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, is determined to fight against this horde of barbarians until their final eradication from our national territory.
The Head of State hereby renews Cameroon’s firm commitment to relentlessly continue this battle until the final victory to all the countries of the front line who are directly involved in the fight against Boko Haram and to all friendly countries of the international community who support us in this fight against the ideological and civilizational backwardness of this criminal horde.
I would like, on behalf of the Government, to indicate to our Defence Forces as well as our Security Forces, that the Cameroonian people is proud of them, proud of their bravery, their loyalty, their patriotism, their selflessness, their sense of sacrifice, their professionalism, all qualities that have made it possible for our country to be on the verge of definitely putting an end to the ungrounded and reckless aggression which has been imposed on us for four years now.
Thanks to the commitment of our Defense and Security Forces, of administrative authorities, of vigilance committees and of the entire Nation, it is clear today that Boko Haram is experiencing its last moments in this aggression led against our country. But we must all remain vigilant, because, although it has been considerably weakened, this nebula still has some capacity to harm.
We must therefore remain united and supportive in the final struggle for its total disappearance.
I cannot, of course, end without extending to you, Distinguished Journalists, the gratitude of the Government and of the whole Nation for the excellent work you have been doing to accompany and support our country’s struggle against the unjustified aggression imposed on us by the terrorist Boko Haram group.
Thank you for your kind attention ».