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“People had only their eyes to cry” Anti-Christian attacks sweep Far North Cameroon – please help


13 December 2019

"Moskota village has become the scene of the agonies of Boko Haram.
Only the dead, only the displaced;
Only ghost villages, shops ransacked and emptied;
Only health centres plundered and looted;
Only cattle taken away; empty buildings.
Boko Haram struck – our founder Pastor Mokoni paid the price.
And when a pastor falls in Africa doesn't that mean anything?
Only ... emptiness."

This is a song by a young Christian man from Cameroon, written to lament the death of his pastor, in a recent wave of Boko Haram attacks.

Caption
Pioneer pastor and church founder, David Mokoni, died in a Boko Haram attack on his church in Moskota village

A local Christian leader told Barnabas Fund that “almost everyone” in the district is now singing this song.

Families in terrible distress, crops ruined

After repeated Boko Haram attacks in Moskota village last month, our contact said that several surviving families are in a state of “unprecedented” psychological distress, more extreme than he has ever seen.

Caption
Christian villagers survey the ruins of their burnt out homes after a Boko Haram attack in Far North Cameroon

In the murderous raids, five Christians died and three were kidnapped; at least 300 homes were looted, and more than 140 oxen stolen. Valuable crops, including cotton, millet and peanuts, were pulled up and left to rot.

“Powerless in front of the terrorists, the people had only their eyes to cry”

With food, clothing and livelihoods taken, the defenceless people “had only their eyes to cry,” said our contact after an attack on Zangola village, which left three dead and untold destruction.

Many hide out at night, some don’t sleep at all

Caption
Barnabas is sending food and essential aid to Christian families who have lost everything in terrorist attacks. Please can you help?

Boko Haram often strikes in the middle of the night. By now, most villagers, especially men and young people, no longer go to bed in their homes but “hide out” in the mountains. Those with motorbikes or bicycles travel to nearby towns to spend the night in greater safety there. Some people no longer really sleep at all, said our contact.

Around 600 families have been badly affected in two districts and left with nothing after attacks by large gangs, of up to 200 militants, laid waste to villages in the past two months. They urgently need our help now.

The costs per family are:

100 kg sack of maize or millet £26 ($35; €31)

Two blankets £12 ($16; €14)

Two sleeping mats £16 ($22; €20)

Five bars of soap and hygiene items £6 ($8; €7)

Children’s clothing £8 ($11; €10)

Total aid for one family £68 ($91; €81)