Survivor of a jihad attack in Cameroon
A missionary has been killed and several churches set ablaze in attacks by Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram in neighbouring Cameroon.
The Nigerian missionary, David Dina Mataware, with the Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF), was killed on November 13 by suspected Boko Haram militants in Ashigashia, a village which straddles the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
He was murdered on the same day as the kidnapping of a French priest, Father Georges Vandenbeusch, but the death was not reported by the media, a church leader told World Watch Monitor, even though both incidents happened in the same area.
The kidnap was claimed by Boko Haram “in an operation co-ordinated with Ansaru”, its spokesman told Agence France Presse. Ansaru is a Boko Haram splinter group that has attacked several Western and Nigerian targets. It claimed responsibility for the kidnap and murder of seven international construction workers earlier in 2013.
Mataware had worked with CMF since 2010. CMF is a Nigeria-based mission agency active in Cameroon since 1989. Its ministry is focused on the tribes of Mandara, Kanouri and Guemergou in the district of Mora in northern Cameroon.
“An undetermined number of armed men crossed the border and entered into Cameroon at midnight. On their way back, they attacked the CMF compound. Unfortunately, one of the six missionaries had his throat cut. Five others managed to flee,” said the church leader, who wished to remain nameless.
Cameroon is a secular country in Central Africa. Approximately 70 per cent of the population is at least nominally Christian and most of its population in the North are Muslims.
Over the weekend of November 15-17, a number of incidents took place alongside the porous border of Nigeria and Cameroon. Local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor say dozens of properties, including Ewy church in Tourou (in Cameroon) were attacked while at least one church was set ablaze and destroyed on the Nigerian side of Ashigashia.
At least four people were killed and many others wounded and transferred to health centres. Despite the reinforcement of security forces in the area, villagers fear continued attacks from Islamist militants from Nigeria.