Four Cameroonian soldiers, including a general, Jacob Kodji, who was coordinating the fight against Nigerian Boko Haram Islamists, lost their lives in an helicopter crash which took place on Sunday, January 22.
A senior military official involved in the fight against Boko Haram who pleaded anonymity said the men were killed when the Cameroonian military helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Bogo region in the far north. Although he did not give details of the cause of the accident, the official simply said:
“We lost four men, including the General (Jacob Kodji) and a colonel.
“They were on a mission in Waza Park as part of an operation to battle Boko Haram.”
The military helicopter was said to have crashed on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon during an inspection mission, killing the commander of the troops Jacob Kodji. A local government official has confirmed the deaths.
General Jacob Kodji was the leader of Emergence 4, the name given to one of the operations launched by Cameroon against Boko Haram.
In the midst of the raging fight against the Nigerian jihadists, Kodji was prompted in August 2015 to general by President Paul Biya. His demise makes him the first Cameroonian general to die in the battle against Boko Haram.
Boko Haram’s brutal insurgency, launched in northern Nigeria in 2009, has spread across the border to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Not less than 20,000 people have been killed and some 2.6 million displaced in the violence. Since Nigeria announced a key victory against Boko Haram jihadists in December, claiming the group had been routed from its Sambisa Forest bastion, its ally Cameroon had intensified operations along its northern border.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, a Nigerian air force fighter jet mistakenly dropped bombs on an internally displaced persons camp in Rann, a community in Borno state.
Although the Nigerian military has raised a panel of investigation on the attack, international aid officials – who were also victim of the airstrike – and some community leaders have said that the death toll from the attack has continued to increase.
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