Two thousand Nigerians living in Cameroon without permits have been expelled.
The Nigerians were arrested on Thursday in Kousseri, northern Cameroon and loaded into many trucks, then driven across the border into Nigeria.
The raid against Nigerians was carried out the same day that Nigerian leader, Muhammadu Buhari and Cameroon’s long-reigning leader, Paul Biya, pledged to work together to crush the six-year Boko Haram insurgency which has killed thousands, and spread to neighbouring countries, threatening the stability of the Lake Chad region.
A local administrator in Kousseri said the raid was part of measures aimed at improving security and controlling movements along the border region.
Twenty four hours after the expulsion of the Nigerians, Cameroonian officials also arrested three suspects carrying a bag containing improvised explosive devices in the northern town of Maroua where a spate of suspected Boko Haram suicide attacks killed at least 40 last week, sources said on Friday.
The men were caught on Thursday evening at the entrance of the city following a tip-off, a senior military source with the Central African nation’s special forces in Maroua, told Reuters.
“The suspect who was carrying the bag with the explosives is a Nigerian. The other two are Cameroonians, according to their identity cards,” another senior local government administrator said by telephone from Maroua.
He said the young men, aged about 20, were suspected Boko Haram militants who were planning another attack.
Cameroon has increased troops and tighten security in the northern regional capital following the suicide bombings, the deepest incursion by suspected Boko Haram militants from neighbouring Nigeria.
Boko Haram, which calls itself the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) since pledging allegiance to the militant group that controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, is fighting to establish an emirate in northeast Nigeria.