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2,500 Nigerian catholics dead in Boko Haram violence

By Sarah Mac Donald - 17 September, 2014

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme.

A Nigerian bishop has warned that at least 2,500 catholics from his diocese have been killed in violence orchestrated by Boko Haram.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of the diocese of Maiduguri has himself taken refuge with thousands of his faithful in the parish of Saint Teresa in Yola in Adamawa state.

The diocese of Maiduguri is in north eastern Nigeria which comprises the states of Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa state.

According to the Bishop, the majority of the displaced faithful now sheltering in the parish, narrowly escaped death as Boko Haram rampaged through their villages.

When people fled, families were separated, and many desperate parents are still searching for their children.

Bishop Oliver also denounced the Nigerian military, who have failed to protect the people and often flee from Boko Haram without fighting.

The Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 decreed a state of emergency in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa where Boko Haram concentrates its campaign.

However, this did not prevent the Islamist terrorists from continuing their campaign, including the recent conquest of places where they proclaimed a ‘Caliphate’.

The plight of the displaced is the main topic of a statement issued by Caritas Nigeria and the Bishops Conference Commission for Justice and Peace with the title “Adapting our lives to the present warfare ” which affirms “the simple truth is that Nigeria is at war”.

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