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The Specter of Boko Haram

June 27, 2024

Attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram in the village of Kolofata in northern Cameroon have been ongoing since 2013.

The village of Kolofata is idyllically situated in the north of Cameroon on the border with Nigeria
The village of Kolofata in the far north of Cameroon targeted by Boko HaramImage: Andrana

Despite the terrifying circumstances, a group of children strive to juggle school, housework and fieldwork.

Two soldiers guard a square in the village of Kolofata
Normal life is only possible under military protectionImage: Andrana

The far north of Cameroon, on the border with Nigeria, is subject to murderous terrorist attacks and therefore under military protection. Although the acts of violence committed by the terrorist group Boko Haram are less frequent now, people here live with a constant, omnipresent threat. 

View into the classroom of the school of Kolofata
The school of Kolofata Image: Andrana

The children here having to cope in a post-apocalyptic situation. The main characters in this tragedy are Falta, Ladji, Ibrahim, Mohammed, Ismaela and Maloum. They are all between four and eleven years old. They live in the village of Kolofata and are trying to build a new future for themselves. The camera captures the unbroken zest for life of these children, who go to school and look after their herds.

Ibrahim and Mohamad, two village boys, sit at the edge of a field
Ibrahim and Mohamad try to cope with their traumatic past in their own wayImage: Andrana

They are creating their own world amidst the dangers of the armed conflict. We get to know the hard-working Falta, grieving the loss of her father, who died in a terrorist attack. She is eager to learn and asks many questions. Ibrahim and Mohamad, on the other hand, fight a lot. They struggle to reconcile their childlike energy with their traumatic past. The days of innocence are long gone for these children.

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SAT 06.07.2024 – 11:03 UTC
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