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Pioneer pastor among eight murdered in Cameroon in wave of brutal attacks by Boko Haram


15 November 2019

Retired pioneering pastor, David Mokoni, and a hearing-impaired Christian boy were killed when Boko Haram militants attacked a church in Moskota, Far North Cameroon, on 6 November.

Two other pastors were amongst those who escaped the night-time onslaught, the second attack on the town in a week. Another Christian man is receiving hospital treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg.

The militants went on to loot the church, taking food, clothing and the pastor’s robes.

A Barnabas Fund contact said a brutal spate of attacks since late October, by gangs of up to 200 militants, has left eight dead. The first of the attacks came on 30 October with the looting of six mainly-Christian villages in Mayo Sava district.

Villagers survey the ruins of their burned out homes after one of the Boko Haram attacks in Far North Cameroon
Villagers survey the ruins of their burned out homes after one of the Boko Haram attacks in Far North Cameroon

Attackers made off with food, clothes and livestock, even stripping sheets from beds as villagers fled. “The village hasn’t got a single sheep or goat left,” said a local resident.

On 31 October, five people were hacked to death when militants armed with axes, knives and wooden clubs stormed the village of Kotserehé. A sixth wounded man later died from his injuries.

Rebecca, a witness in Kotserehé, described the ruthless attack on a boy there, “He was a 15-year-old adolescent. He was so deeply asleep in his bed that he didn’t hear any of the noise around him. They thrust the blade of the axe so deeply into his skull, to the point we had to use a hammer to get it out of his head.”

The militants struck at Moskota on the same day, killing one man and stealing more than 140 oxen and cattle. They also looted the health centre and shops.

Our contact said the attacks have caused many to flee rural areas for larger towns and cities, where they are now living in “extreme misery”. He called for “our support and prayers” and added, “This is beyond persecution. It is a dramatic situation, plunging thousands of families into a deplorable humanitarian crisis.”

Boko Haram has been stepping up its attacks on Christian villages in Far North Cameroon in an attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate from north-eastern Nigeria all the way to northern Cameroon. The UN estimates that more than 170,000 Cameroonians, mainly Christians, have been forced to flee their homes by Boko Haram. In July, the extremists cut off the ears of at least three Christian women in the town of Gagalari.

From Barnabas Fund contacts