AFRICA/NIGER - Boko Haram threaten Christians in Diffa. "Real news, but there is no mass flight of the faithful"

Friday, 14 June 2019 persecutions   armed groups   terrorism  

Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - "Christians have been threatened but there is no mass flight of the faithful" says Mgr. Anthony Coudjofio, Vicar General of Niamey to Agenzia Fides, to whom we asked if it is true that the Christians in Diffa, a region in the south-east of Niger, received a message from Boko Haram, giving them three days to leave the area, otherwise they will be killed.
"I have contacted the association of Catholics in Diffa who confirmed that they had received the message of threats. They said the event is certainly disturbing but they added that security forces are patrolling the area, protecting churches. The Catholic faithful, albeit frightened, have not left their homes, contrary to the news that they had spread about a Christian flight from Diffa", concludes Mgr. Coudjofio.
Boko Haram, a jihadist group originally from Nigeria, has also expanded its activities to neighboring countries, including Niger. The Diffa region has already been hit several times by the Boko Haram attacks. At the end of March 10 people lost their lives when two bombers blew themselves up in the market in a village in the region.
On 11 June, 64 members of Boko Haram were killed in a fierce battle with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Darak in the Lake Chad region. Chad is another country targeted by the jihadist group. The MNJTF is a joint force organized by the states of the region to fight Boko Haram. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/6/2019)