Maroua, Cameroon attacked by Boko Haram

More than 30 are dead after two young girls posing as beggars triggered a suicide bomb inside the Central Market of Maroua in Cameroon.

Maroua is one of my favorite cities anywhere-- a quiet, leafy little Sahel town full of artisans, maze-like markets and surprising little restaurants. I would go there once a month or so to visit the antique market, eat at the charming French restaurant and enjoy evenings in open air lounges eating street food and watching city life unfold.

In my two years in Cameroon, I can honestly say I’ve never met more warm, open, peaceful people. An oasis of calm in a rough neighborhood, Cameroon seemed to escaped most of the violence in the region.

As Boko Haram started lurking around the borders, NGOs started shutting down and refugees started pouring in. This once-vibrant region became more isolated. Refugees poured in, adding to the refugees from CAR. Life in border towns became insecure, with schools closing and ordinary life grinding to a halt.

Now this. It’s awful. It’s just awful.

I am hearing about this on NPR. Just awful. I wish I understood what could possibly make what Boko Haram does seem justifiable to them.

What a shame :frowning: It’s always a shame when Boko Haram invades anywhere but your description of the place really makes it come alive and feel even more shocking. And little girl suicide bombers!!

From info about other similar incidents, probably ordered in and the bombs triggered remotely.

That’s what I think. The girls could have been kidnapped. Boko Haram seems to like to do that. :mad:

How horrible!

Another bomb, carried by a teenage girl, has killed 20 in a crowded neighborhood bar in Maroua.

I have no words. It’s surreal and perverse to think of such a calm, pleasant city being a scene of fear and terror. I can’t imagine how many lives are being upended as this once peaceful region gets dragged in to a war that isn’t their own. And I feel anger at the people who could have contained Boko Haram long ago, but didn’t feel like prioritizing it. Now the whole region gets to pay for that decision.

As a sad update, there have been several more suicide bombs in northern Cameroon. The most recent was set off by young girls in a maker, killing 25. It’s absolutely horrible, all of it.

I suppose this sounds a bit glib, but even sven, the fact that you liked Maroua so much is the reason they want to destroy it. You’re the “corruption” they’re trying to purge from the region. Anything that attracts liberal Westerners will be ruined, until the whole area becomes one of those places where you would never want to go. Then they will have exclusive control.

The violence here is against Muslims, in hopes of intimidating them away from protecting refugees and supporting the Cameroonian government’s campaigns against Boko Haram. These are not sophisticated theologians, they are a band of local thugs and madmen.

They are bombing mosques and markets. They are not bombing the Catholic Mission or the Alliance Francaise. They aren’t even bombing the Christian and polytheist villages. They are killing Muslims in order to terrorize Muslims.

The tiny handful of Westerners making it up there is a minuscule part of the equation. There are so few around that many people thought I was Chinese (I’m a blue-eyed blonde). This isn’t about us.