Cameroon suffering violence at the hands of Boko Haram daily

Islamist terrorist violence such as Paris experienced in January is a daily reality in Cameroon, according to Maroua-Mokolo’s Bishop Bruno Ateba (pictured).

“What happened in Paris during the attacks there is something we experience here every day, and yet nobody in the world says anything about it,” he told the Catholic agency Aid to the Church in Need.

More than 6,000 people are believed to have been killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram, the militant group which last month pledged allegiance to ISIS, but the bishop lamented how little attention has been paid to the group’s infiltration of Cameroon. Since the last quarter of 2014, he said, two senior diocesan staff, three catechists and more than 30 faithful have been murdered, and there have been many abductions.

Explaining that the terror attacks have caused the destruction of many police stations as well as the closure of more than 110 schools and 13 health centres, Dr Ateba said more than 2000 Cameroonian children and adolescents had been seized by the group and described whole communities fleeing their homes. His diocese is now home to more than 55,000 displaced Cameroonians along with refugees from Nigeria.

Many Cameroonian Muslims have also fallen victim to Boko Haram with mosques burned down and imams murdered because they refused to obey Boko Haram orders. Muslims, he said, have helped Christians threatened by the terror group.

Praising those faithful who continued to gather for prayer despite their situation, he appealed to world leaders for help in ending the violence, which he said was “destroying all hope for the future and bringing to nothing all the hard work of generations of believers”.