Over 70 residents of Kirawa-Jimni village in Gwoza local government area of Borno state have been buried after soldiers of the Cameroonian army allegedly chased Boko Haram insurgents into their community.
The incident, which happened on Sunday, had forced many of the villagers to flee their community in fear for their lives.
According to reports, the soldiers invaded their community on Sunday afternoon demanding for the whereabouts of some Boko Haram fighters whom they had been chasing.
“We didn’t know what was going on but the Cameroonian troops suddenly appeared and began to ask us for Boko Haram terrorists”, said Muhammed Abba, a resident of Jimnana and deputy commander of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria in Gwoza.
“Before we could say a word, they started firing: that scared most of us, and we began to run; but the soldiers opened fire and many people died. Those that went back on Monday found over 70 corpses littering the ground.”
Confirming the incident, Borno state Spokesman of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Abbas Gava, said “from the reports we have received from fleeing residents of the village who called from Ashigashiya, near Cameroon, they said the soldiers were in hot pursuit of the Boko Haram terrorists who ran into Kirawa-Jimni. The soldiers did not waste time upon arrival as they immediately opened fire on the villagers”.
However, a top politician from Gwoza local government (names withheld) said “we have received similar reports of the incident in Kirawa-Jimnana but what we are getting are snippets of information which one cannot be taken as official”.
Kirawa-Jimni is a border community near Cameroon: it is located around the area where Boko Haram terrorists once held sway during the conquest of Gwoza. Many residents of Gwoza who had fled the communities to IDP camps in Maiduguri and Yola believed the insurgents are still very much on ground around that axis.
This was not the first time that Cameroonian troops, on the chase of Boko Haram fighters, are being accused of crossing the border and attacking residents of Nigerian communities.
On November 30, 2015, Cameroon troops were said to have crossed the border into the Nigeria, where they allegedly shot and killed about 150 villagers, burned their homes and forced many of them to flee.