Cameroon will carry out a series of anti-terrorism simulation exercises on September 28 to prepare against any terrorist attacks during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the country’s defense minister Joseph Beti Assomo said.
“This African football festival will be held in a context marked by tension. Because of this atmosphere, Cameroon must be able to ensure the safety of all,” Assomo said on Monday in the capital, Yaoundé during a high level meeting to plan for the simulation exercises which will be open to the public.
As part of the mock exercises, the army will simulate a terrorist attack in a stadium while a football match is in progress and stage a rescue operation, officials said during the meeting.
The army said, the exercises will not be held in response to a specific threat but noted that an armed separatist movement in the country’s Anglophone regions, Boko Haram insurgency in the Far North region and some security challenges in other parts of the Central African nation were reasons enough for the army to prepare for any eventuality.
AFCON, a biennial competition involving 24 African countries is scheduled to take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6 next year.