Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recent events related by friends in Nigeria

The fighting and terrorism still carries on in the N.E as well as parts of Plateau State, and other areas too.  It is so sad to hear of hundreds of lives being lost, and so much property being destroyed.  All the villages and towns between Maiduguri and Limankara (over 100 miles) have been attacked, including Gwoza, and the Christians and moderate Muslims have now fled to other areas. Many went to Adamawa State, which neighbours Borno, but Boko Haram followed them there, and they had to move again. 
In the past, Boko Haram, operated hit and run tactics – they would terrorise an area, the people would flee, but then they would leave.  This has all changed now.  Following the establishment of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram have done the same in large parts of Borno State.  In Gwoza they have raised their flag, set up a government, and taken control.  They are extending from here, and have taken control of Bama (50 miles away) and are surrounding Maiduguri, a further 50 miles away.
In the past few months in the Ngoshe Glavda area over 400 were killed, many buildings burnt, and there are over 50,000 refugees.  We will never know the exact numbers, but this gives us some idea of what is happening.
The Christians initially, could only flee to the hills as the other ways out were blocked.  Some did manage to get to the Cameroon and are now in a UNICEF Camp – we hear there are about 5,000 here.  They are being fed and it is a lot safer for them but unfortunately they was a Cholera outbreak that killed up to 200 people. Others moved to farmland near Abuja (Nigeria’s capital). There are 2 camps, one with 45 families, and the other with 46. The churches and individuals have been very kind, supplying food and cash.
There are still about 5-10,000 living in caves or amongst the rocks on the Gwoza hills.  They struggle to get food, although they were able to get some animals, and we were able to send grain to them.  Sadly Boko Haram have climbed up to them, and they have had to leave the animals and food, and gone even higher into the hills.

Earlier some did manage to escape, and there are 2000 families in Maiduguri, and others to towns in the next State.  The Christians are struggling to feed them – thanks to gifts from the UK we have been able to help with this.

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