AFRICA/NIGER - "Threats against Christians in the area of Bomoanga and targeted killings for others", reports a missionary

Friday, 20 December 2019 violence   armed groups   persecutions  

Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - How are things in Bomoanga? "Bad. Things get worse". "As Christmas approaches, the question is obvious, but the response of the community animator is not", reports to Agenzia Fides Fr. Mauro Armanino, of the African Mission Societies (SMA) from Niamey. Bomoanga is the village where Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, also from the SMA (see Fides, 18/11/2018), was abducted on 17 September last year.
"The animator confirms his affirmation with a series of concrete examples. And he cites, by way of example, the recent killing of the village chief and ‘councilor’ appointed by the government, of the village of Kouadjieni, just about ten kilometers from Bomoanga", says Fr. Armanino.
"Instead, in the village of Koutougou, about forty kilometers from Bomoanga, the local "sorcerer" was killed in the same place where he used to do the ritual sacrifices prescribed by traditional religion. The church of the Christian community is not far from the place of the assassination. Shortly after his killing it was the turn of his Christian nephew to be threatened and 'invited' by the head of the group to inform the Christian community of the village that, if they go to pray in church, the only people to survive will be women and children".
"What is puzzling in these events - says the missionary - is the absolute freedom of action of these armed groups who, although localized, are not in the least disturbed by the police. The latter are stationed in the school in Ngoula, just twenty kilometers from the village where Christians were threatened".
"Next Christmas for the parish of Bomoanga will be very close to the original of Bethlehem, with the Herods of the moment", concludes Fr. Armanino. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/12/2019)