We understand that the Nigerian Army have rescued some 200-300 girls and women from the territories that Boko Haram had controlled. One report stated that some could be the girls from Chibok. Another report say’s that they are investigating to find out if some of these women and girls were Boko Haram wives. We are trying to gain more information and verify these reports. The Fides Agency reports that these are not the girls from Chibok. The Army has uncovered shallow mass graves from the many victims of this Christian Holocaust. Our hearts and prayer go out to the people of Nigeria. As Fides states there are 150,000 affected in a Maiduguri diocese alone. With 5,000 known killed, and 100,000 fleeing. The ones who could flee are facing enormous challenges, without housing, food, clothing and many without loved ones. We will keep you updated as we gain more information.
Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – The Nigerian army have expressed joy for the release of hostages held by the Boko Haram Islamist sect, but also sorrow for the discovery of mass graves where many victims were buried. About 300 women and girls were rescued during the military offensive in the Sambisa forest, considered the stronghold of Boko Haram. The girls rescued are not the 200 girls abducted a year ago in the school in Chibok, whose story had caused a stir around the world.
Last week about twenty graves were discovered where hundreds of decomposing bodies had been buried, including those of women and children, in Damasak, Borno State city in the north east of Nigeria, which had fallen in the past year under the control of Boko Haram. The victims were killed during the retreat of the men of the Islamist sect, pressed by the Nigerian military.
“Extremists continue to act because the military have not been able to hit all their strongholds, and I am not surprised that they have attacked new people”, said to “Aid to the Church in Need” His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Archbishop of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, whose diocese has been particularly affected by the violence of Boko Haram. According to the latest data, 5 thousand of the 125 thousand Catholics have been killed by extremists and 100 thousand have fled, including 26 of the 46 diocesan priests, 30 religious women, and more than 200 catechists. Of the 40 parish centers, 22 are currently empty or occupied by Boko Haram, while 350 churches have been destroyed. Finally three of the four Catholic schools have been closed. Mgr. Doeme expressed hope that the advance of the military marks “the beginning of the end of Boko Haram”.
VOP is working in the Nigeria to aid the extremely persecuted. Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!