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Many Flee Nigeria to Evade Islamist Attacks.

 

Nigerians flee to Cameroon

ICC note

"Everybody is insecure in Nigeria. The fear is all-pervading," said a Nigerian Christian priest, speaking on condition of anonymity, in Fotokol, a Cameroonian border town where dozens have taken shelter in the last few weeks.

02/09/2012 Nigeria (News24) - Nigerians have fled in droves to neighbouring Cameroon to escape violence claimed by the Islamist Boko Haram group and revenge attacks by Christians.
"Everybody is insecure in Nigeria. The fear is all-pervading," said a Nigerian Christian priest, speaking on condition of anonymity, in Fotokol, a Cameroonian border town where dozens have taken shelter in the last few weeks.

It is located about 100km from the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the bastion of the shadowy Boko Haram sect which has been blamed for a slew of terror attacks that have sowed panic in Africa's most populous nation.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria's north, but its demands have varied.

"Many Nigerians like myself have fled their villages in the south. We feel secure in Cameroon," the priest said in Fotokol.

"That is why I am sheltered here," he added;

He has rented a house which is about 10 minutes by motorcycle to the nearest town in Nigeria, Gamboru Ngala, where he heads the local Catholic church.
...
It is difficult to gauge the exact number of Nigerians who have fled to Cameroon as they cross the border illegally, but there are easily dozens sheltered here since the attacks and tit-for-tat ripostes by Christians.

Mahamat Tujani, a Muslim trader from Maiduguri, fled to Kousseri near Fotokol.

"I abandoned my business and my family to seek refuge at the home of my cousin," a Cameroonian, he said. "I escaped out of fear."

He hoped to return home soon, he said, "but if the killings continue, I will bring over my family members here".

Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bomb attacks in Nigeria's Muslim-dominated north. It claimed responsibility for January 20 coordinated bombings and shootings in Nigeria's second-largest city of Kano that left at least 185 people dead - Boko Haram's deadliest attack yet.

The August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in the capital Abuja which killed at least 25 people was also attributed to the group.
...

The priest said two Christians from the mainly Christian Igbo ethnic group were killed in Mobi in Adamawa state about three weeks ago.

"When the other Igbos went to reclaim their bodies the Boko Haram struck and killed 29 others," he said.
...

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