By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
In the African state of Cameroon Muslims and Christians are protecting each other against savage attacks by Boko Haram, who are relentless in their brutal attacks.
For over three years Boko Haram have been killing innocent people in the country, hoping to create an Islamic state. The terrorist group has staged 315 raids in the border region since 2013 and carried out 32 suicide bombings. Yesterday in Yaounde suspected Boko Haram insurgents blew themselves up in a market killing at least 25 people and injuring
This has forced Muslims vigilante groups to protect the central mosque in Mozogo, near their border with Nigeria, during Friday prayers. However, this means they are not able to pray, as they are defending the people worshipping inside.
So the Muslim community have teamed up with various Christian organisations to keep each other safe. The Protestant Church of Cameroon said their members now guard mosques allowing all those of the Muslim faith can complete their religious obligations, without fearing for their safety.
Joseph Klofou of the Protestant Church of Cameroon said: “I feel frustrated seeing my brothers and sisters dying. I must act while praying to God to send his angels and warriors to fight Boko Haram because he is the merciful God of armies,”
Djafarou Alamine of the central mosques said that they also stand guard in front of churches when Christians pray. He said: “I am out to fight because Boko Haram is a group of bad people. Islam condemns all that they have been doing to both Christians and Muslims who are all God’s creatures even though they have religious differences.’
Cameroon’s population of over 23 million people is 40 percent Christian, 20 percent Muslim with 40 percent holding indigenous beliefs.
Midjiyawa Bakari is the governor of Cameroon’s Far North region said: “We have applauded this initiative in which Muslims stand guard over Churches and Christians stand guard over mosques. We condemn the actions of Boko Haram and ask Cameroonians to all fight them. And we extend our condolences to families that lost their loved ones.
“Cameroon is a country where priests and imams both go to churches and mosques to preach and pray during ecumenical services. It is a treasure to keep.”
Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s minister of communication and government spokesperson said: “Cameroon is a country where priests and imams both go to churches and mosques to preach and pray during ecumenical services. It is a treasure to keep. In total, 1,098 civilians, 67 of our soldiers and three police officials have been killed in these barbaric attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group.”