According to a statement from the president’s office, the logistics boat belonged to the Rapid Intervention Brigade, which has fought Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in recent years.
Authorities said that the boat was carrying 37 people when it capsized early Sunday morning.The presidency said three soldiers were rescued but 34 passengers are still unaccounted for.
Government said the accident, at the northern end of the coast near the village of Debunsha, is believed to have been caused by rough waters but investigations are underway to learn more.
Cameroon has deployed thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to beat back a Boko Haram insurgency that has killed more than 20,000 people in the Lake Chad region and displaced more than 2.7 million.
The militant group has repeatedly attacked Cameroon. Last month, two children carrying explosives killed at least nine people when they blew themselves up near a camp for displaced persons.
In the meantime, the European Union is allowing members to restrict sales of inflatable boats and outboard motors to Libya in an effort to stop dangerous migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean.
EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to allow member countries to ban such export or supply “where there are reasonable grounds to believe that they will be used by people smugglers and human traffickers.”
A statement said the measure will also apply to boats and motors transiting through the EU, but not to fishermen or others with legitimate need for them.
The foreign ministers also agreed to extend a border aid mission in Libya through the end of 2018 that helps Libyan security forces, notably in the lawless south.
Migrant crossings from Libya to Italy on unsafe boats have climbed in recent weeks.