Civilian Death Toll Increases in Nigeria and Cameroon as Boko Haram Continues Suicide Attacks

On September 18th, a dual suicide bombing at an aid distribution point in Konduga, in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 15 and left 43 people injured.  People were gathering to receive donations from an NGO when the first bomb went off. About 12 minutes later a second bomb detonated, however, the suicide attacker was the only one killed in that explosion.

This attack is the most recent attack carried out by female suicide bombers . On Saturday September 16th, at least 28 people were killed and another 80 were wounded, when three female suicide bombers detonated their explosives outside of a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Konduga.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for these attacks yet, but Boko Haram has carried out similar bombings in the past in the same region. On September 10th Boko Haram fired a rocket-propelled grenade into an IDP camp near the border of Cameroon  killing seven.

Since 2009 Boko Haram, Islamic State linked terrorist group, has left at least 20,000 people dead, more than 2.3 million displaced from their homes, and 7 million facing regular food shortages leaving the northeastern region of Nigeria dependent on aid.

Boko Haram has increasingly relied on the use of women and children for suicide attacks since 2011. Of the 434 suicide bombers Boko Haram has deployed, 244 or 56% were identified as females, according to a study by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). Eighty-one of the bombers were identified as children and teenagers. Young females were four times as likely to be used as suicide bombers than young males.

Amnesty International  reported that since April, Boko Haram killings have doubled and Cameroon has experienced at least one suicide attack per week.

On August 25th, another Boko Haram attack killed 11 people and abducted 8 others  while raiding a village in Gakara, located in northern Cameroon on the Nigerian border.

The Nigerian military has pushed more Boko Haram fighters from the Sambisa forest in Nigeria to the Mandara hills in Cameroon which could explain the increase in attacks in the country.

The Nigerian and Cameroonian governments need to take a harsher stance on Boko Haram. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost due to the jihadist terror group occupying the northeastern region of Nigeria.

The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, vowed to eradicate Boko Haram and bring security and stability to his country when elected in 2015. Now two years later, Nigerian Lieutenant General Buratai made a statement saying that, in terms of military action Boko Haram has been “defeated”  but, the increasing number of attacks daily suggests otherwise.