Mali the ‘epicentre’ of jihadist groups in the Sahel

Mali the ‘epicentre’ of jihadist groups in the Sahel
A Catholic bishop in Mali has highlighted the ongoing insecurity in the country and welcomed the decision to deploy a new multinational stabilisation force. “The security situation in different areas of Mali has been a concern for several months,” Fr. Edmond Dembele, General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, . . . Read More

Niger: pastor’s daughter kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants

Street scene in Zinder, Niger's second biggest town, where thousands of people fled to after Boko Haram first attacked Diffa in February 2015. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The teenage daughter of a pastor was kidnapped on 16 October in Diffa, south-eastern Niger, in what appears to be the first targeted kidnapping of a Christian by Boko Haram-affiliated militants in the West African nation. Aphodiya Garba Maida, 17, daughter of a pastor with the EERN (Église Évangélique de . . . Read More

‘There will never be peace for Nigeria’s Middle Belt unless there’s equality and justice’

‘There will never be peace for Nigeria’s Middle Belt unless there’s equality and justice’
Obscured by Boko Haram’s headlines, violence has also raged further south, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt: a less reported, years-long campaign which experts now believe has been responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram. Militants among the ethnic Fulani, a predominantly Muslim and nomadic population of cattle herders, are suspected of targeting . . . Read More

Kidnapped missionaries appear in video posted by jihadist groups in Africa’s Sahel

Kidnapped missionaries appear in video posted by jihadist groups in Africa’s Sahel
A coalition of jihadist groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda released a video showing six foreign hostages, including three missionaries, just hours before France president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Mali, where France agreed to help support anti-terrorist efforts in the Sahel. According to the US-based monitoring group SITE, the undated 16’50” footage . . . Read More

Murder of Fulani Christian mayor in Mali increases concerns over creeping Islamic extremism

Murder of Fulani Christian mayor in Mali increases concerns over creeping Islamic extremism
The motive behind the murder of a Fulani Christian politician in Mali last month remains unknown, but locals suspect an Islamist agenda. Moussa Issah Bary, the 47-year-old deputy mayor of Kerana (near the Burkina Faso border), was shot dead by six unidentified men on motorbikes on 16 November. He is . . . Read More

Rising Islamist militancy across Sahel belt threatens African Christianity

Rising Islamist militancy across Sahel belt threatens African Christianity
More than 70 churches, as well as Christian homes, schools and orphanages,were burned down by Islamists in Niger in January 2015.World Watch Monitor As the world focusses on potential military advances against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it risks overlooking another vast region where militant Islam is . . . Read More

Islamists want to ‘wipe out’ Christian presence in northern Mali

Islamists want to ‘wipe out’ Christian presence in northern Mali
It’s not only in the Middle East that the advance of Islamist jihadists is exercising the international community. While attention has been focused on northern Iraq and Syria, the French government has been bombing Islamist militant positions in Africa to stop the emergence of jihadists in the Sahel. Now on . . . Read More