Up to 1,000 Christians – men, women and children – have been affected by an attack on Tayere village in northern Cameroon after Boko Haram militants torched homes, food supplies and the local church.
Around 120 families were affected in this savage attack with approximately 80 homes, with all their inhabitants’ worldly goods inside, being reduced to ashes.
In a further callous act, the jihadists chose to set alight the harvest supplies of maize, cotton, millet, peanuts and beans, amongst other vital food stocks. Without these supplies, Tayere’s villagers will struggle to survive.
The local church was also vandalized and set ablaze yet only partially damaged, with the roof and benches remaining intact – for which the local people praise God.
The militants also left eight dead and destroyed possessions and food supplies in the neighbouring village of Goldavi. The group targets churches, Christian villages, moderate Muslims, and Western-style educational establishments in its violent campaign in West Africa.
This recent attack comes after a string of similar incidents in the area. On 22 October Boko Haram jihadists attacked a church the day after raiding a neighbouring village, maintaining their reign of terror in the region.
In the nearby town of Mora, close to the Nigerian border, the situation continues to deteriorate. People fear suicide bombers detonating their explosives in public places, particularly on Sundays when a large market usually takes place.
For four successive Sundays the church in Mora has been closed and heavily-armed soldiers have patrolled the streets, preventing people from travelling outside of their homes. Such measures have been put in place to minimise the threat of an Islamist attack on Sundays, the day of Christian worship.
Many people living in this area of Cameroon have fled their villages and now live in refugee camps, unable to return home because of the constant threat of attack by Boko Haram insurgents. “Mass displacement of people has again taken place around Mora and Moskota” notes one church leader. “In recent times, no night has passed without an attack from the Islamic sect Boko Haram, especially in border villages with Nigeria.”
When Boko Haram announced they had sworn allegiance to Islamic State (IS) in March 2015, IS responded by saying this was 'the expansion of the caliphate to West Africa'. IS is the first Islamist group to have claimed to have re-established the caliphate. Two hundred years ago there was a jihadist caliphate known as the Sokoto Caliphate that stretched across northern Nigeria into parts of what is now Cameroon - which Boko Haram's actions including copying IS's sharia legalisation of slavery appear to be copying.