CAMEROON: Women maimed as Boko Haram strikes terror
by Maria Lozano
On the night of July 29, members of the terrorist group Boko Haram attacked the town of Gagalari in the diocese of Yagoua in the Far North region of Cameroon.
According to information received from local sources by Aid to the Church in Need, the terrorists seem to have changed their strategy, now targeting the town's women. "They arrived during the night, entered the houses one by one and kidnapped the women. Only the women. They took them to the outskirts and amputated one ear of each of the victims. Then they released them threatening them and telling them that they would return, that this is the first touch intervention, but others will follow. It is terrifying. "
Children in a village in Bauchi Diocese devastated by Boko Haram. Photographer: Corinne Zaugg. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.
The victims were found and picked up by the army and then transferred 260 kilometers away where they received medical assistance.
The source suggested that the women’s ears were cut off in order to terrorise the locals.
For security reasons the men do not sleep inside the houses and there is even a Vigilance Committee, "but it was no use in this repulsive surprise attack. The women were dragged out of their homes before the eyes of their children."
The women received medical treatment from the army for their injuries. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.
The population, especially the women and children are traumatized and terrified. “But what are they going to do? They are simple and very poor people who live from agriculture and right now in the rainy season they are waiting for the harvest. Where are they going to go? " The town is 120 kilometers from the nearest parish.
According to reports, in the preceeding days Boko Haram attacked two villages in the area. Three members of a local Vigilance Committee were killed during the raids.
PRAYER FOR THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
Loving God, you are the author and sustainer of our lives. You know the anguish of the sorrowful, you are attentive to the prayers of the brokenhearted. Hear your people who cry out to you in their need; strengthen their hope in your lasting goodness.
Be near to all those who have been touched by violence: those who have been hurt, lost their loved ones or lost their sense of security. Be for them a steady comfort and safe resting place.
Soften the hearts and minds of those who would do violence to others. May hate be replaced with love, violence with peace and darkness with your light.