the vast majority of residents have fled.
Houses of clay and brick stand abandoned with nobody to cook in the courtyards, while colourful robes and children's laughter are things of the past.
and the lethal threat on the other side.
"Before, this was a bustling town, with crowds.
Chadians, Cameroonians and Nigerians came here and traded in all kinds of things," said Abba, who comes from a nearby village.
Many people in Amchide ran the risk of atrocities and kidnapping by Boko Haram for months, but the situation further worsened when the Islamists in September overran Banki, the extension of their town on to Nigerian territory.
"There is firing almost every day," an officer in Cameroon's elite military Rapid Intervention Battalion
(BIR by its French initials) told AFP at the scene, asking not to be named for security reasons.
surrounding savannah grass and trees that offer cover to Boko Haram forces.
Major Leopold Nlate Ebale, chief of operations in the border zone.
the others have been left standing by the entrance to the military base.
"When you go into a house by a door in Cameroon, you can come out on the Nigerian side," where Islamists
have many hiding places, an official said.
Cameroon's army states that in the absence of "a right of pursuit" into neighbouring countries, it will never carry out ground attacks on Nigerian territory. However, several officers agreed that "for protection in the event of aggression", they had the right to fire shells across the border.
In villages of the district, people still try to live as normally as they can despite the sound of almost daily
blasts and gunfire.
far," elderly villager Oumate Mohamed said, sitting in the shade of a large tree.
Mohamed explained. Some decided to stop at Kourgui, but most headed on towards towns deeper into
"Everything used to come from Nigeria before, even petrol, but we can't go there now," farmer Baba Chetima said, clad in a long white robe. "People have nothing left."