___di Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio per VT Italia
In the month of May alone, perhaps fueled by the Ramadan period, Islamic jihadist extremists unleashed their murderous fury against Christians in the African Sahel. Within a few weeks, from April 5 to May 22, only in Burkina Faso in four different attacks during religious ceremonies did they blow a Catholic priest and a Protestant pastor with his two sons, with a rifle of 16 faithful . But from the end of March to the beginning of April there were more than 60 victims of Islamists in the country. In the Central African Republic, however, a nun was beheaded last week, While in Mozambique a priest was stabbed as well as another in Burkina (but this for personal reasons).
From the beginning of 2019 the number of consecrated people killed between Latin America (3) and Africa (9) thus rises to 12. But it is on the Black Continent that the Bishops received a red code alert from African intelligence (ACSIS) for imminent dangers in Ghana but above all in the Sahel countries. Here the alert is also maximum for the invasion of the Muslim shepherds Peuls, all armed with kalashnikov semiautomatic assault rifles, due to the desertification of the pastures but above all to the strategies of the jihadist groups close to Isis and Al Qaeda that aim to put Christians are increasingly in the minority and transnational conflicts explode, as happened above all in the last decade in the Middle East.
The displacement of the herdsmen is encouraged by the warlords to create continuous friction between the ethnic and religious communities and the explosion of larger military clashes, with the blessing of the arms lobbies of the USA, UK, France, Germany but also Italy , always enterprising in this great business, and of the same western governments interested in an occult colonization of the countries of the Black Continent for its precious resources in the subsoil.
It does not seem just a simple coincidence that the Islamic fundamentalist Salafists of the Jihad have begun their arrogant and bloody rise just after the arrival of the French military in the Sahel countries, rich in oil, natural gas, gold and diamonds. In fact, terrorist destabilization increases the need for international stabilization with governments controllable by the West,
Since 2015, there have been as many as 350 deaths in Muslim terrorist attacks only in Burkina Faso and according to a study by the IHS Markit company between 2015 and 2018, the total number of attacks in that nation and in the other Sahelians of Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria grew by 80.2%, while the victims increased by 62.5%.
An alarm of international importance because it is connected to the trafficking of human beings and the migratory flows towards Italy and Europe. The emergency is well known in Nigeria due to the presence of jihadists of Boko Haran and the Fulani shepherds who are now also alarming Central Africa while the Ansar ul Islam terrorists have been sowing terror in Burkina Faso for several weeks.
THE BLOOD SCIA OF THE ISLAMICI PEULS
“The local warlords are facilitating the progression of the Peuls shepherds (or Fulani) in our area, creating alarm among the population. Throughout the Sahel their displacement with millions of cattle is destabilizing entire areas of Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad and now the Central African Republic, due to the conflicts that arise between this population of nomadic and local shepherds, of sedentary farmers . Unfortunately the Peuls, who are well armed, in their journey leave a trail of blood that gets longer every day: they are Muslims and the local populations are Christian, “says Monsignor Juan José Aguirre Muños, Bishop of Bangassou to Fides, explaining that this invasion is “accentuating the interreligious tensions already present in Central Africa”.
The first cause of this movement is the desertification of the plains of the central African strip between the Sahara desert in the north and the savannah of the Sudan in the south. “We understand the drama of the Puels victims of desertification, but no one has asked permission from the Central African populations who already live in very harsh conditions. Thousands have arrived: men, women, children with their herds and are heading in our area – highlights Msgr. Aguirre with great concern – if the flows were to continue at this rate, within a few years, in the south-east of Central Africa could arrive up to two million Fulani ».
“The local populations are alarmed for their future – the bishop of the Central African country adds – The sure thing is that everything is being done to open corridors through which the Peuls pass in search of water and pastures. The warlords have demanded that a part of the Obo mission area be turned into a natural park in order to drive farmers out and allow the Peuls to settle with millions of cattle. One of the warlords linked to the Peuls is Ali Darassa, a Nigerian Fulani, and he is the main organizer of these corridors “.
THE ISIS FLAGS IN BURKINA FASO: 350 DEAD SINCE 2015
“The UN has expressed its deep concern about the continuing deterioration of security and the humanitarian situation and affirmed the” will to contribute to preventing further destabilization “not only in Burkina Faso but in all the countries that are part of the so-called G5 namely Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger »writes Cecilia Seppia on the website of Vaticans News regarding the killings of Christians in recent weeks
The Sahel countries find themselves facing an uncontrollable humanitarian conflict with 150,000 displaced only in Burkina, 600,000 in Chad and over half a million children without education. “The fight against terrorism and crime in the Sahel is a collective responsibility, it is time to consider the creation of an international coalition,” said Burkina Faso’s head of diplomacy at the UN Security Council, Alpha Barry, speaking on behalf of the five member countries of the G5-Sahel Force and suggesting that these scourges must be “treated with the same determination as those that prevailed in Iraq and Afghanistan”.
Unfortunately it is also known that the conflicts between local ethnic groups and jihadist terrorist groups, often financed and protected by the US as happened precisely in Afghanistan in the clash between the American troops and the Taliban, sometimes have become even more exacerbated with the intervention of an international coalition . In Syria, in fact, the Coalition against Daesh has bombed far and wide, without UN authorization but legitimized only by the White House’s right of veto in the United Nations Security Council.
According to the Fides missionary agency “between Sunday 31 March and Tuesday 2 April at least 62 people lost their lives near Arbinda, in the north of Burkina Faso, on the border with Mali, in a jihadist attack followed by inter-community clashes” . Since 2014, France has deployed 4,500 soldiers in the Sahel area, in the framework of the anti-jihadist operation Barkhane, in collaboration with the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) «but – writes Vaticans News – without leading the activity of organizations such as Ansar-ul Islam, the Islamic State of the great Sahara, or the Support Group for Islam and Muslims that since 2015, in Burkina Faso alone, have caused at least 350 deaths “. Indeed, as mentioned above,
ASCENT OF JIHADIST GROUPS AFTER THE FRENCH ARRIVAL
“Until just over three years ago, Burkina Faso was considered immune from the ethnic-religious conflicts that characterize the vast area of the Sahel. But since the jihadists of al-Murabitun (group linked to al-Qaeda) of 15 January 2016 in the capital Ouagadougou, the situation has radically changed – writes Marco Cochi in a detailed article on Negrizia that takes its cue from an American study – The umpteenth demonstration took place in the last four weeks with the resumption of attacks against places of worship of the Christian minority “
“Although no official claim has been received, the main suspects of the attacks are the members of Ansar ul Islam (protectors of Islam), jihadist burkinabé group, which would have links both with the self-styled Islamic State in the great Sahara (Isgs) and with at the Jama’at nusrat al islam wal Muslimin (Jnim), the sign that arose at the beginning of March 2017, which unites the most active Salafi armed groups in the region in the Qaeda orbit – the website Negrizia says – Ad Ansar ul Islam dedicated an in-depth analysis of Critical threats (Ct), a geopolitical project carried out by the American enterprise institute (Aei) in Washington. The study mainly investigates the reasons that allowed the extremist movement, founded in December 2016 by the deceased jihadist of Fulani ethnicity Malam Ibrahim Dicko,
Beyond the reasons why the Jihad propaganda has made inevitable grip on nomadic Muslims, mostly illiterate and dedicated to pastoralism like the Peuls, we must first read the events in a wider geopolitical framework in which the magnifying glass serves as the magnifying glass history of the Middle East: in particular that of Syria and Yemen.
In the first country the US financed and armed the FSA rebels, in some cases even the ISIS militia, which allowed the Islamic State to expand before being defeated by the Syrian army SAA thanks to the support of Russia. The war unleashed against the Isis in Baghouz and Deir Ezzor by the Kurdish militias Qasad-SDF with the support of the bombing Us Air Force was aimed only at controlling a desert area near the oil-rich Euphrates.
In previous reports we reported on the Isis leaders chosen by the US and transported to Iraq (and from there to Afghanistan according to the latest alert from the Russian FSB intelligence ) but also to Nigeria. On several occasions the American attacks with Tomahawk missiles on Syria have been supported by the French navy, for example on 17 September 2018, thanks to the frigate Auvergne .
In Yemen the coalition led by Saudi Arabia fights alongside the Sunni jihadists of Al Qaeda against the Shiites of the Houti ethnic group and has relied on US military aid until the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, when Congress imposed on the American president Donald Trump stopped the supply of US weapons in Riyadh.
Among the main suppliers of war material and defensive systems of Saudi Arabia there is also France itself through the holdings Thales, participated by the government and the Dassault family, which has two locations in Riyadh and a third Al Jubayl, city facing on the Persian Gulf.
In the past few days the load on the Saudi cargo ship Bahri Yanbu of a supply of French-Dutch-made Caesar howitzer cannons (Giat Industries, Kmw-Nexter group) was blocked by protests from pacifist groups first in the port of Le Havre and then in that of Genoa when, as Reuters reports , “the government has refused to provide details on the order of arms”.
The fear of the activists is that they were in fact destined for the conflict that is tearing apart Yemen, for which the UN has imposed an embargo, ignored by many countries, for the importation of weapons. After the protests of the Genoese port unions, the cargo left Genoa heading for the port of La Spezia to carry out the cargo there. According to some local media, she was able to complete the transshipment of the French guns and of the Italian production generator. So he left Italy to head for the Arabian peninsula.
If Paris is in business with Riad that finances and protects Al Qaeda, why is it surprising if the explosion of terrorist groups in the Sahel occurred right after the arrival of the military from France?
The blitz with which the French special forces released four tourists, including two compatriots, kidnapped by jihadists on the border of Benin, is certainly not enough to dispel these suspicions. Unfortunately, two officers of the Barkhane operation were killed in the firefight with the terrorists. It is unfortunately known that the same troops of regular armies as the simple Jihad soldiers are unaware of the plots woven by international governments through military intelligence or hidden powers.
THE ARMED CHRISTIANS AND THE SISTER BEEN DECAPITATED IN CENTRAL AFRICA
To understand how high the level of tensions in Burkina Faso is, it should be remembered that the Bishop of Bangassou has been welcoming some two thousand Muslims for two years, threatened with death by the local anti-Balaka gangs. The Anti-Balaka are self-styled Christian militias formed in the Central African Republic after the accession to power in 2013 of Michel Djotodia, leader of the Seleka, a majority Muslim revolutionary party that, with yet another coup in the country, overthrew the regime of General Francois Bozizé .
The name Anti-Balaka derives from a language of young illiterates of the armed opposition against the Seleka – of which the aforementioned Ali Darassa is part – who fought the Muslims “anti-balles à ti laka”. The term “laka” means the AK-47, the Kalashnikov assault rifle used by Muslims. The Anti-Balaka are therefore those who fight against those who use AK-47s, a widespread weapon among jihadists such as among the Islamic shepherds Peuls.
In this climate of ethnic-religious conflict, the last terrible murders in the Sahel must be seen. In the Central African Republic, a French-Spanish 77-year-old nun was killed and semi-decapitated on Monday 21 May.
«Petite, kind, absolutely peaceful. So who had known her describes Sister Inés Nieves Sancho. The religious, 77 years old, was found dead Monday morning in the village of Nola, diocese of Berberati, in the Central African Republic, on the premises where she taught girls in the first place to sew and try to get a better life. His body was hideously mutilated – wrote the Osservatore Romano, the Vatican daily – Suor Inés belonged to the small local community of the Daughters of Jesus. For many years she had been involved in this great conglomeration of the prefecture of Sangha-Mbaéré, in the southwest of the Central African Republic, on the border with Cameroon. Here, in a context made up of buildings and shacks raised approximately, for decades he had lent his work to the advanced age ».
In the night between Sunday and Monday some strangers entered her room, took her and took her to the rooms where she held her sewing lessons. Perhaps a symbolic place for its attackers. Here they slaughtered her and almost completely took off. The reasons for the attack are still unknown as no one has claimed responsibility for the crime. Among the hypotheses there is that of the impractical practice of the trade of human organs or of a human sacrifice considered propitiatory of fortune, above all in the good success in the search for diamonds.
This would have happened according to a macabre superstition that comes from Cameroon, where the Bantu civilization of animist religious belief with magical rituals and also cannibalistic initiation had great importance around the fifteenth century. Deputy Jean Marc Ndoukou has accused the local authorities of not wanting to make the necessary clarity on these facts that could be the consequence of occultist traditions remained alive even in the violence of savage Sahelian jihadist terrorists, certainly far from the doctrinal scholars of Islam.
PRIEST AND FAITHFUL KILLED BY JIHADISTS DURING THE MASS
Attacks against Christians perpetrated in recent months in Burkina Faso are certainly Islamic Salafis. On May 13, four faithful who were bringing the statue of the Virgin back to church after participating in a Marian procession were killed in Singa, in the municipality of Zimtenga (25 km from Kongoussi), in the central northern region of the country. This is the same region to which the province of Sanmatenga belongs, where on Sunday 12 May Fr Siméon Yampa, parish priest of Dablo, was killed along with five faithful in the assault on the church during Sunday Mass. According to the missionary Fides, Singa’s Catholic faithful, on returning from the village of Kayon, located about ten kilometers away, were intercepted by armed men. The terrorists let the minors go,
The assassin ambush occurred the day after the other assault on Sunday 12 May. “It was 9am yesterday morning in the church of the Catholic parish of Blessed Isidore Bakania in Dablo, a village 90 kilometers from Kaya, in the north of the country, in the province of Sanmatenga, and the Mass had just begun, when a commando of 20 jihadists arrived aboard motorbike, he surrounded the church ». This is the chilling dynamic of the terrorist attack told by Monsignor Théophile Nare, bishop of Kaya, at the microphone of Olivier Bonnell and reported by Vaticans News.
“Until now we had not recorded an attack of such violence against a Christian community: it is the first time – adds the bishop – They arrived in motion, they surrounded the church, they began to chase people, there was great panic: those who they could, they ran away, while the elderly, who failed to escape, had to stay there and the terrorists ordered them not to move, even to women. The parish priest, Fr Siméon, who had been alerted, tried to escape from one of the sacristy doors, but they saw him from afar and shot him and killed him. Then they returned to the church, searched the people, requisitioned all the mobile phones and because they had ordered a number of people to lie on the ground, they shot five of them and killed them.
The killed priest, Fr. Siméon Yampa was born on February 19, 1985 and received the ordination on July 7, 2014 in Kaya. “He was a humble person, obedient and full of love, he loved his parishioners, until the final sacrifice,” said Monsignor Nare, inviting the Christians, however, “not to give in to fear and the temptation of revenge”.
FIVE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN BURKINA FASO
“The interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, announced a tweet in which” The Holy Father learned with pain the news of the attack on the church in Dablo, in Burkina Faso. Pray for the victims, for their families and for the whole Christian community of the country “- he reported Vaticanans News – The Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Monsignor Philippe Ouédraogo, given the ethnic-religious turn of the terrorist actions asked the population to oppose with faith and unity in violence. “We are a people and we will remain a people,” he said. In fact, the attacks, attributed to jihadist groups, including Ansar-ul Islam and the Islamic State, which are predominant, continue to increase, above all undermining peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims.
The attack by Islamic fundamentalists is the fifth in a few months: the two of May are joined by those of the previous weeks. On Sunday, April 28, at the end of the celebration of a solemn mass in Silgadji, in the northern province of Soum, the Protestant pastor Pierre Ouédraogo was assassinated by two men armed with rifles along with his two sons and three faithful. Monsignor Laurent Dabiré, Bishop of Dori, also recalling that on Friday 5 April at a village in the diocese, during the celebration of the Via Crucis, armed men entered the Catholic Church and after separating the men from women and children, they killed four faithful who had tried to escape.
On February 15, 2019, Fr. Antonio César Fernández Fernández, a Spanish Salesian missionary, was assassinated during a jihadist ambush at the checkpoint in Nohao, near the border with Ghana, where four customs officers were also killed. The Federation of Islamic Associations of Burkina (FAIB) condemned the attacks, calling in an appeal to all citizens of Burkina Faso “without exception for religion or ethnicity to unite against terrorism”.
OTHER TWO PRIESTS ACCEPTED IN AFRICA
“In the face of the death of our brother Landry Ibil Ikwel, in the hospital of Beira (Mozambique) following a brutal attack in the community house in Beira, we join our hearts to those of our brothers and sisters in Africa in pain, in the prayer and trust in the one who died violently on the cross forgiving his aggressors, we ask the Lord that wherever death seeks to prevail, life prevails instead ”.
This is the statement of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, sent to Fides, on the tragic death of Fr. Landry Ibil Ikwel, 34, stabbed mortally on May 19 in Beira. A Congolese national, Father Landry entered the novitiate in 2008 and was ordained a priest three years ago, on 7 February 2016, in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was the director of the Institute of the blind in Beira (IDV-B), a structure whose mission is training, rehabilitation, education, the social integration of children, young people and blind adults from all over the country, ensuring everyone an adequate education according to individual abilities, and thus making them emerge from the marginalization to which the society relegates them. According to the first reconstructions, the priest was stabbed in his community, transported to the hospital he died from his wounds.
Investigations are underway to identify the person responsible. At the moment there is no evidence of a possible terrorist action. ensuring that everyone has an adequate education according to their individual abilities, and thus getting them out of the marginalization that society relegates them to. According to the first reconstructions, the priest was stabbed in his community, transported to the hospital he died from his wounds. Investigations are underway to identify the person responsible. At the moment there is no evidence of a possible terrorist action. ensuring that everyone has an adequate education according to their individual abilities, and thus getting them out of the marginalization that society relegates them to. According to the first reconstructions, the priest was stabbed in his community, transported to the hospital he died from his wounds. Investigations are underway to identify the person responsible. At the moment there is no evidence of a possible terrorist action.
Father Fernando Fernández, a Salesian of Spanish nationality, was instead stabbed around noon on May 17, in the Salesian center of Don Bosco in the city of Bobo Dioulasso, in the southwest of Burkina Faso. “During lunch, a former cook who worked in the facility for seven years, hurled the Spanish religious with a knife, killing him. A second priest of Togolese origin was injured in the accident. Father Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, director of studies, was immediately taken to hospital and out of danger. The killer was immediately arrested by the police, avoiding lynching by the students and the people who had rushed in the meantime ».
From the first investigations it seems that the cook wanted to avenge the dismissal two months ago. Father Fernández was the treasurer of the Don Bosco center of Bobo-Dioulasso, the second city of Burkina Faso, located in the province of Houet, about 300 km west of the capital Ouagadougou. In Bobo Dioulasso, since 1994, the Salesians have developed in a coordinated way in three locations: an assistance center for street boys and girls, a literacy center and a vocational training center with over 300 students.
PARISH PRIEST KILLED IN SALVADOR FOR EXTENSION
Father Cecilio Pérez Cruz, diocesan priest, was a native of Sabana San Juan Arriba, municipality of Nahuizalco, in the same department of Sonsonate, about 15 kilometers from the San José parish in La Majada to which he was assigned four years ago and where he was killed May 19th. There are no more than 150 meters between the San José La Majada police station and the parish church of Father Cecilio. The inhabitants of the area are astonished because, although it is the first murder recorded in 2019, they have the feeling that when criminals want to kill someone it does not matter whether there are policemen in the area.
Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, Auxiliary of San Salvador, declared that even priests are victims of extortion by gangs: “There are cases we know, others maybe not, nobody is exempt; it is a great pain to know this when it comes to such simple people … It is something that seems to have no solution, but we must face this drama “.
On Holy Thursday in 2018, Father Walter Osmin Vásquez, a 36-year-old priest of the Diocese of Santiago de Maria, parish vicar of Usulután, was killed by the underworld in this area of the country. In that diocese of a mountainous area among the poorest in the country, from 1974 to 1977, Bishop Oscar Romero had been bishop, murdered by a killer of death squads, on March 24, 1980, three years after he became Metropolitan Archbishop of San Salvador for having denounced the violence of the military regime. Romero was proclaimed a saint last year by Pope Francis.
TERRORISM ALARM ALSO IN GHANA, BENIN AND TOGO
“It is time to remain vigilant, it is we must see what we can do to protect the innocent people who come to church to pray. It would be sad that in church they should meet death, “declared Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie, Accra, announcing the raising of the alarm for possible attacks against Christian places of worship in Ghana.
“Security has become a big problem after what happened in Sri Lanka and what is happening in Burkina Faso,” the high priest remarked, referring to the massacres in Catholic churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and the recent attacks against Catholic and other Christian denominations in neighboring Burkina Faso. “Since the threat of terrorism is approaching us, we have raised the level of alert to face it,” explained Kwofie after meeting the police chief to agree on security measures to protect the faithful participating in Sunday religious services. . The Church of Christ the King, one of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Accra, has already banned backpacks as part of the new security guidelines.
The security situation in Burkina Faso remains tense, while thousands of Burkinabes flocked to the border villages of Ghana. The African Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) has raised the alarm on the intention of jihadist Salafist groups based in Burkina Faso, to launch attacks on churches and hotels in neighboring countries, including Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo.
The impression is that the entire Black Continent, from Sudan to the Sahel, from Nigeria to Somalia and up to the Middle East, has become the hotbed of extremist Jihad groups which, under the apparent stimulus of an ethnic and religious conflict, hide the interests of the warlords. Not only those in Africa who organize the militias but above all those that in New York as in Paris and London collect the earnings of speculation on the arms market.
Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio