Mission schools attacked in Niger

The village of Bomoanga is vandalized by suspected Jihadist activists, with mission schools being targeted.


By Vatican News

The village of Bomoanga on the border of the West African nation of Niger was vandalized by suspected Jihadists on the night of October 19th.

According to Fides News Agency, the alleged Jihadists riding motorcycles struck the village just 13 months after missionary priest Fr Pierluigi Maccalli was kidnapped from the same village.

A local media site states that the village was part of a construction project sponsored by the Diocese of Niamey. A state funded school was also under construction at the time of the attack.

Fr Mauro Armanino, a priest of the Society of African Missions said of the attack “Government forces seem unable to stop this destructive wave. Fr Pierluigi and the diocese of Niamey had been involved in the project for the construction of schools, including a state one.”

He went on to describe the impact of such attacks upon the lives of those who are most dependent upon facilities provided by the government and by missionary orders.

“It directly affects the children of peasants, the poorest in the country today and only confirms the instability of the border region with Burkina Faso. In this country, the number of children denied their right to education is now in the thousands” said Fr Armanino.

Niger is a former French colony, once known as “French Niger.” It gained its independence in 1958 and has undergone a number of changes of government, coups d’états, military governments and constitutional reforms. Most recently, a border dispute with neighboring country Burkina Faso had to be settled by the International Court of Justice.

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