Lake Chad Basin and Islamist Threat against Christians and Muslims: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

Lake Chad Basin and Islamist Threat against Christians and Muslims: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria

Paul Joseph Nzeribe, Takeshi Hasegawa and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


The Sunni Takfiri Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram continues to slaughter and intimidate. However, unlike past years prior to 2015 this now equally applies to parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. In other words, the failure of Nigeria in crushing this potent terrorist group means that Boko Haram is mushrooming out to neighboring nations. Therefore, the nations of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have come together in order to collectively challenge the Boko Haram menace.

In 2015 the nation of Cameroon witnessed a major increase in terrorist attacks. At the same time, Gulf Islamist versions of Islam are starting to challenge the indigenous forces of Sufi Islam in this country. Likewise, Islamist indoctrination is also emanating from Sudan in both Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Given the above realities then Christian fundamentalism is growing within Cameroon. However, unlike the Central African Republic this is based on spiritual matters at the moment.

Modern Tokyo Times stated in a past article “In neighboring Nigeria the bloodthirsty Boko Haram is killing based on their Sunni Takfiri Islamist worldview. Not surprisingly, Boko Haram lauds ISIS (Islamic State – IS) because this barbaric jihadi terrorist group is slaughtering on a daily basis. This especially applies to Iraq and Syria but more recently ISIS is also butchering in Libya and Yemen. Therefore, the government of Cameroon is increasingly worried by the threat of Boko Haram and the emerging reality of Salafi Islam.”

Chad and Niger also fear the new Sunni Takfiri Islamist reality that is creating untold suffering. Indeed, indigenous Sunni Islam and various Sufi branches have witnessed the destruction of Sufi shrines and other religious buildings by Takfiri Islamists. This notably applies to Libya, Mali and Somalia but also extends to other nations. Therefore, the duality of terrorism and Sunni Islamist indoctrination equates to Islamist attacks against indigenous Sunni Islam and Christianity.

The International Crisis Group reports “Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon face an evolving threat from the jihadi militant group Boko Haram. Over the past six years, the group has transformed itself from a small protest movement in northern Nigeria to a powerful force capable of mounting devastating attacks across the Lake Chad basin. Last March, it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State — an affiliation that appears to have had little impact beyond improving Boko Haram’s online presence.”

It is clear that Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria need international support and clearly France is fully aware of this reality. Yet it still appears that the Lake Chad Basin is an afterthought in comparison with events in the Middle East. However, the murky role of certain Gulf nations and Sudan in spreading Sunni Islamist Takfiri indoctrination is an equal threat to the Lake Chad Basin. After all, events in the Central African Republic highlight the Islamist ideological threat to the majority Christian community. In other words, a tripartite agenda of Sunni Islamist terrorism, religious indoctrination, external intrigues emanating from the Gulf and Sudan – are all combining to threaten indigenous Sunni Islam and Christianity throughout the region.

France 24 (with AFP and AP) stated late last year that “In recent months, Boko Haram Islamists, who this year declared allegiance to the Islamic State group, have stepped up attacks and suicide bombings on Chadian villages in the lake that lies close to the frontier with Nigeria.”

Similarly, International Crisis Group reports about the growing Sunni Takfiri regional threat by stating “This past summer, Cameroon experienced the greatest increase in attacks by Boko Haram, followed closely by Niger and Chad. Nigeria, however, remains the epicenter of the conflict.”

Therefore, it is essential to focus on the various internal and external threats facing the entire Lake Chad Basin before the crisis unleashes new forces.


Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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