A mob of some 100 militants of the Islamic terror group Boko Haram raided and torched a church in the far north of Cameroon, local media reported Wednesday.
On the night of 14 to 15 September, the Boko Haram raiders attacked the local church of the Union of Evangelical Churches in the village of Krawa Mafa, burning it to the ground.
Along with the church building, the jihadists burned 50 concessions, stole some 200 goats and sheep, and slaughtered one steer, reports stated.
Though aware of the attack, the local Cameroon military did not attempt to engage the terrorists since they found themselves severely outnumbered. There has been an upsurge of jihadist activity in this border region whose local security forces are understaffed due to a reduction in personnel.
The national government has been asked to take steps to remedy this deficit but so far no action has been taken.
The kidnapping of Catholic priests has also become widespread in Cameroon’s two western regions since the outbreak of an armed conflict in 2017 that has resulted in hundreds of deaths.
Just last month two Catholic priests were kidnapped at gunpoint at Ibal village in the anglophone region of the country’s Northwest.
Father Franklin Banadzem Dindzee, the diocesan youth chaplain of Kumbo Diocese, and Father Patrick Atang were “kidnapped late at night on Thursday along Ibal-Jikejem road on their way to the town of Oku in the Northwest Region,” said a statement by the local Catholic church, which called on the kidnappers to release the clerics unharmed.
The abduction took place on August 15, the Catholic feast of the Assumption, the same day the Bishop of Kumbo, George Nkuo, publicly condemned the atrocities that have been committed in the area, urging Christians to pray for peace for the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country.
In late 2017, Amnesty International reported that Boko Haram had shifted its base of operations from Nigeria into Cameroon, which accounted for an upsurge of Islamist terror attacks in Cameroon.