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.