AFRICA/NIGER - Italian priest of the Society of African Missions kidnapped

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - "In the night between Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 September, Father Pierluigi Maccalli, of the Society of African Missions (SAM) was kidnapped by probably active jihadists in the area". The news was reported by Fr. Mauro Armanino, a missionary in Niamey. "The area has been in a state of emergency for some months due to this presence of terrorists from Mali and Burkina Faso", adds Fr. Armanino.
Father Maccalli, originally from the diocese of Crema, already a missionary in the Ivory Coast for several years, serves in the parish of Bomoanga, diocese of Niamey. He has put together evangelization and human promotion: schools, dispensaries and training for young farmers.
The Catholic Mission of the SAM Fathers is located in the Gourmancé area (South-West) on the border with Burkina Faso and about 125 km from the capital Niamey. The Gourmancé people are entirely devoted to agriculture and around 30 thousand inhabitants live in this region. The Mission has been present since the 1990s, and more than 20 missionaries have visited the villages, of which 12 with small Christian communities. The Catholic Church in Niger strongly supports the social works carried out and that is why the Mission of Bomoanga has a program of commitment to Human Promotion and Development through its basic cells called CSD (Comité de Solidarité et Developpement). Poverty is structural, health and hygiene problems are enormous, there is widespread illiteracy and there is no water and educational facilities. The lack of roads and other means of communication, make the area isolated and forgotten. (MA/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2018)