Numerical imbalance, mobility, firepower, diversion and the element of surprise. These are the factors, members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram probably counted on, when attacking the locality of Dabanga on the night of Saturday March 27 to Sunday March 28, 2021. A sort of reproduction of the scenario of October 16, 2014 in Limani.
On the Cameroon map, Dabanga is a rural locality in the Logone and Chari Division, crossed by the national road number one currently under rehabilitation. Located barely three hundred meters from the border with Nigeria, Dabanga is above all an important commercial centre supplying the surrounding villages with food. Thus making it a prime target for extremists looking for supplies.
Taking advantage of the darkness, the terrorists set out to infiltrate the locality with the clear intention of devastating it. However, before opening fire, the Boko Haram expeditionary force of vehicles and motorcycles were vigorously challenged by the defensive system put in place in anticipation of just such an occurrence.
The enemy, feeling the weight of the might of the Cameroon Military fast approaching around him, rather than incurring assured extinction, will rely on the speed of his legs to get out of the situation, by giving up on the battlefield, leaving behind their weapons and baggage, not yet destroyed. It was therefore, a resounding victory recorded by our Forces in Dabanga, as usual, for they have the tendency of wining elsewhere, duty calls to protect the territory and its inhabitants.
However, beyond the victories at the tactical level, it is necessary to indicate the strategic backdrop that underlies these successes, a web woven from November 11, 1989, during the celebration in Koutaba, of the 30th Anniversary of the Cameroon Defence Forces. The President of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Paul Biya, made this declaration, predictive of the events currently being experienced, I quote: " The evolution of our country and of the world in general implies an adaptation of the Cameroon Defence Forces with new realities ". End of quote.
From that moment on, the Cameroon Defence Forces set about making adaptation, a capacity not to make adjustments dictated by the urgency of the moment, but the ability to carry out in advance, ontological mutations allowing easy absorption of possible upheavals.
Also, from structural reforms to doctrinal changes, the creation of academic institutions to the development of educational content, the appropriation of advanced knowledge and know-how to improving the living and working conditions of staff, practically everything will be implemented, for a serene projection of Cameroon's equipment towards a future align with forces as aggressive as they are unpredictable.
Some of the new realities announced in the presidential speech thirty years ago are those currently experienced in the world in general, and Cameroon in particular. These include, the spread of terrorist menace, false flag wars for the grabbing of resources, the itinerant orchestration of seasonal popular uprisings, to the transformation of humanitarian principle into a weapon of mass invasion amongst others.
It is therefore by making adjustments a permanent predictive and proactive posture that our Defence and Security Forces are now able to meet up with the brilliance that we know, the security challenges that venture them, by at the same time that they contribute their share to the vast project of the development of our country.
Navy Captain Cyrille Serge ATONFACK GUEMO Head of Communication Division / MINDEF