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  • on 31.07.2014
  • at 12:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Cameroon’s Muslim clerics turn to education to shun Boko Haram 0

Yaounde – Cameroon’s Muslims act against religious discrimination, which is fuelled by a growing number of attacks and abductions in the country staged by Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram.

Motari Hamissou used to get along well with his pupils at the government primary school in Sabga, an area in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region.

In the past, Hamissou also lived in peace with his neighbours. No one was bothered by his long, thick beard or the veil his wife, Aisha Hamissou, wore, or the religion they followed.

 According to the 2010 general population census, Muslims constitute 24 percent of this Central African nation’s 21 million people, most of whom live in Cameroon’s Far North, North and Adamawa Regions; all on the border with Nigeria. Cameroon’s north western boarder runs along the length of Nigeria’s eastern boarder, stretching all the way to Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north — a stronghold of the Nigerian extremist group, Boko Haram.

But the intermittent attacks and abductions perpetrated by Boko Haram in Cameroon’s North West Region has destroyed the peace and accord that Hamissou enjoyed with his pupils and neighbours.

The most recent attack by the group was on Jul. 27 when the wife of Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali was kidnapped in the northern town of Kolofata. The group is said to have increased its attacks from Nigeria into neighbouring Cameroon. Since the group first took up arms five years ago for a Muslim state in Nigeria, more than 12,000 people in that West African nation have died in the crisis, according to figures from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

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By Ngala Killian ChimtomIPS

Photo credit: Flickr/IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

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