Vigilantism and the Fight against Boko Haram in the Far North Region of Cameroon, 2014-2018 (Published)
This study sets out to explore the contributions of vigilante groups in the fight against Boko Haram and their role in the reduction of the atrocities of this Islamic sect in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The study makes use of qualitative approach in the design, data collection method and analysis. The main instrument for collecting data was interviews administered on 30 interviewees made up of public administrators, traditional chiefs (lamidos), military personnel and civilians in Amchide, Fotokol, Kaele, Maroua, Mora and Mokolo. These interviews were followed by the use of observations and focus group discussions. After analysing the data, the researchers found out that the activities of Boko Haram led to the re-emergence of vigilante groups in the region and such groups contributed significantly in the reduction of the violence of Boko Haram in many ways. They did this through the provision of intelligence reports to the military and the identification of suspects within their regions of operation. The research equally found out that vigilante groups were well structured in hierarchical form and members were recruited based on their mastery of their areas of operation. The study also showed that vigilante groups have become very popular in the region due to their assistance to the military and their contribution to security in the region; but they however pose as a source of insecurity in the future. Thus, the government blue print programme for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of armed groups like Boko Haram should include all these vigilante groups that are operating in the region so as to prevent them from turning into thugs or armed robbers in a post Boko Haram setting.
Keywords: Boko Haram, Civil-Military Cooperation, Far North Region, Vigilante, Vigilantism