Muslim jihad in Africa July 2019

This post is a follow-up to my Ramadan Bombathon and June posts about Muslim jihad in Africa. This is a story of great violence wrought by jihadiis in a dozen countries. This violence is a continuation of centuries of violence along the edges of Muslim lands, but the scene in Africa has become increasingly deadly in the years since the 9/11 attacks on America in 2001. That event seemed to precipitate fresh infusions of cash from oil-rich Arabs, who gave support to Wahhabi madrassas that taught violent jihad, and who gave money for purchase of black market small arms to give to jihadiis all over the world.

Below I am simply listing incidents of violent jihad in Africa that made it to Christian niche media in the weeks since my post in mid-June. There were undoubtedly additional acts of violence that went unreported. None of this made it into mass media journalism in America, so all of it is probably news to y’all.

Before going into the latest listing of horrors, I want to pause and say that the Trump Administration has become a beacon of hope in a very dark world. President Trump appointed former Senator Sam Brownback as United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Ambassador Brownback convened a second international Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom earlier this month. (“Ministerial” because the official delegates are at a level equal to Secretary of State Pompeo.) At this years’ meeting, Secretary Pompeo awarded five recipients with the International Religious Freedom Award. Two of the five are Africans.

Imam Abubakar Abdullahi. “The imam gave refuge to his Christian neighbors, sheltering 262 Christians in his mosque and his home…. then stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim attackers, pleading with them to spare the lives of the Christians inside, even offering to exchange his own life for theirs,” Brownback said.

“His actions bear witness to true courage, true selflessness, and true brotherly love,” he said.

Nigeria’s pastoral conflict ‘six times deadlier’ than Boko Haram in 2018, ICG says

More than 80 people were killed in the attacks by suspected herders who also set fire on many homes in the villages.

The other African recipient of a Trump Administration award is Mohamed Yosaif Abdalrahan, Sudanese lawyer. “A member of Sudan’s Muslim majority, Mohamed has become a trusted ally of minority communities and has helped them navigate the country’s complex judicial system, deploying his strong technical knowledge in international human rights law and Sudanese constitutional law, and his outstanding dedication to use the law as a force for good,” the department said.

Below is a summary of jihad since early June.

Burkina Faso

Jihadiis killed over sixty people in an Easter massacre, and then there were attacks on Christian churches on every Sunday in Ramadan. After a couple of weeks off in early June, jihadiis attacked the village of Belehede and killed 17 people on June 19.

https://www.france24.com/en/20190620-burkina-faso-islamic-state-terrorism-isis-isil-jihadist

Cameroon

Cameroon is an anomaly. The violence seems not to be related to Muslim jihad. Though Boko Haram and ISIS have carried out their mischief in the far north of Cameroon, the recent violence is not connected with that. In fact, there were positive developments in that northern region.

The governor of Cameroon’s Far North region, Midjiyawa Bakari, congratulated and encouraged Muslims and Christians in the area who have chosen to work together and help protect each other.

Christians and Muslims ,,, are working together in the fight against Boko Haram. Christians are guarding mosques at the time of prayer and Muslims are returning the favour by guarding churches, reported Voice of America (VOA).

The recent violence had a different source and is not directly related to Muslim jihad. English-speaking people in western Cameroon got tired of mistreatment by the French-speaking majority government and an Anglo separatist movement got started. Because the key to the fight is language, schools have been a major target. At the end of the school year over five thousand schools had been shut down, and forty schools had burned.

New peace negotiations started with the aid of Swiss negotiators.

https://www.voanews.com/africa/switzerland-says-it-mediating-talks-cameroons-separatist-crisis-deepens

But there was a prison riot, and an incident in which government troops are alleged to have murdered four civilians and raped some women.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jul/22/cameroonian-forces-in-anglophone-region-accused-of-killing-four-people

Here is an article with background and info on the schools.

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-africa/2019/07/25/cardinal-calls-for-schools-to-reopen-in-cameroons-english-speaking-regions/

Ethiopia

Sixty people were killed in violence related to a separatist group that is angry over government foot-dragging on their petition to form a semi-autonomous region, which is something the Ethiopian constitution allows.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49070762

Kenya

No jihad news during this period. Just garden-variety corruption.

Nigeria

Fulani Militants attacked four separate villages [June 16], killing at least 13 Christians, two of which were children under ten. The attacks took place in two of Nigeria’s Middle Belt State, Kaduna and Plateau. 

https://www.persecution.org/2019/06/24/fulani-militants-kill-13-multiple-attacks-last-week/

The “International Crisis Group” based in Brussels issued a report on destitute Boko Haram women. What this report is about is thousands of women who have either escaped from Boko Haram or were captured or rescued by the Nigerian Army in the past four years.

After varying degrees of screening and reintegration support, they live among civilians scarred by the conflict. Many initially faced intense stigma, regardless of their actual commitment to jihadism. That stigma has somewhat subsided as more returnees have arrived, but most former Boko Haram women still suffer ostracism and higher risks of sexual abuse and privation than other displaced women. Their hardship is a humanitarian concern but also could fuel the conflict: either because they could return to Boko Haram, thus boosting morale and supporting military operations; or because their plight could deter male insurgents inclined to demobilise from doing so.”

https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/275-returning-from-the-land-of-jihad_0.pdf

Fulani leaders called on Fulani who live in southern areas of Nigeria to leave there and move north.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07h5wjg

Here is an interview with a Nigerian history professor. This is interesting; he claims that one of the northern governors has a letter from Fulani leaders dated a couple of years ago that essentially declares war on non-Muslims in the northern half of Nigeria.

http://saharareporters.com/2019/07/27/fulani-waging-war-against-nigerians-drive-people-away-their-lands-%E2%80%94prof-banji-akintoye

The latest is a new massacre:

At least 65 people are dead following a suspected attack by Boko Haram on a funeral gathering in northeastern Nigeria, according to local officials.

The attack occurred Saturday during a burial in the Nganzai district, near the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/28/africa/boko-haram-attack-nigeria/index.html

The army claimed some progress against bandits. These bandits are allies of Boko Haram.

https://dailypost.ng/2019/07/28/katsina-troops-bandits-sunday/

https://dailypost.ng/2019/07/29/boko-haram-troops-kill-10-terrorists-borno/

Mali

I described a massacre in Mali last month. Subsequently (June 16) French forces and the Malian Army attacked a group of militants and killed twenty of them. There are 4500 French troops at work in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mali-security/french-malian-forces-kill-20-militants-in-operation-mali-army-idUSKCN1TH0DV

a pretty good backgrounder on Mali from al Jazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/mali-massacre-escalating-violence-190613133110169.html

Fourteen Irish Army Rangers are joining the French troops in Mali. The Irish already have a team of twenty soldiers there on a training mission on land mines and improvised explosives.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/army-rangers-set-for-un-mission-in-mali-after-77-39-d%C3%A1il-vote-1.3932453

Mozambique

President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique  spoke to condemn the jihadiis and call on the military to “neutralize” the threat.

The attacks in Mozambique have killed at least 39 people and displaced more than 1,000 since May, often because their homes have been burned out

https://africatimes.com/2018/06/26/mozambiques-president-wants-jihadist-threat-shut-down/

Somalia

Six killed and the mayor of Mogadishu was wounded in a suicide bombing.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/24/africa/somalia-mogadishu-suicide-bomb/index.html

The U.S. conducted an airstrike against ISIS in Somalia.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/07/28/US-carries-out-airstrike-on-Islamic-State-in-Somalia/6371564344122/

Uganda

20-yr old badly beaten, disowned by his Muslim family, forced out of school and into hiding for becoming a Christian. https://morningstarnews.org/2019/07/unable-to-finish-school-for-becoming-christian-young-man-in-uganda-faces-bleak-future/

Christian widow flees home under threats from local Muslims, including her son.

https://morningstarnews.org/2019/07/christian-widow-driven-from-home-in-central-uganda/

I never expected such thing to happen to me,” she said in anger and disbelief. “I have lost everything that I did in developing the homestead for more than 30 years of our married life, only to lose everything just like that because of following Jesus.”

Lord, have mercy.

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