Pastor Abel & Naomie Sagara
Malians need prayer. Malian Christians, specifically need prayer. Malian pastors may need even more prayer.
Fox News – French Forces Kill at Least 30 Extremists in Central Mali
Al Jazzeera – Mali Senior Member JNIM Amadou Koufa Kill in French Raid
Have you followed the news about the advance of the jihadists in Mali. I don’t claim to know all the background of this problem. This what I know. Mali is in political turmoil.
The jihadists in Mali (and across West Africa) go by several names: Fulani nomadic shephards, the Peul, the Wolof, etc. There are several radical Islamic groups which would qualify as Jihadist. One is the IRIN and the other big group is the “Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin” or NJIM. This particular group is at the center of controversy right now. The leader of the NJIM is (now I should say, was) Amadou Koufa. Back in 2015, after the Tuareg rebellion up in northern Mali and the French army intervened to stop them, the Tuareg signed a Peace Deal with Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (he goes by IBK) A year ago, Amadou Koufa, as leader of the NJIM, signed a Peace Accord with IBK. It was hoped that this would revive the Peace Deal signed in 2015. But alas …
During this last year, Amadou Koufa acknowleged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda and the hopes for a revived Peace Accord were shattered. Jihadists groups continued to capture and control towns and villages across central Mali. It became more and more violent. Life was becoming more and more difficult, to say the least, for Malians living in this region, the Mopti region. There were brutal killings, massacres in many of the villages that the Jihadists conquered. Generally, if the men didn’t join their army, they were killed. I was told that they often slit throats! Wives were sometimes raped.
This is why France stepped in again, as they had done with the Tuareg rebellion in 2015. One of their primary objectives was to capture or kill Amadou Koufa. They succeeded at killing Amadou. The Jihadist groups, IRIN and NJIM (more NJIM) protested, saying that the French troops should not be credited for the killing of Amadou.
The battle is far from over. It will sadly just get worse. Over these many months, even years, so many villages in the Mopti region have been destroyed. So many wives are without husbands, children without a father. Scores of Christians have been killed. Many pastors have been killed. Some Christian churches have gone “underground.” How can the Malians survive? With so many men killed, how will they farm and provide food for their families? There is almost always a shortage of water, leading to a shortage of food.
Praise International has sponsored only 2 pastors in this region: Pastor Abel & Naomie Sagara and Pastor Jeremy & Jemima Guindo. Thank the Lord that their lives have been spared so far, but they and their families are in great danger (like the other Malians in the Mopti Region). These pastors are both professors in a Bible School around the Dogon region, south of Mopti, the biggest city in the region with a population of approx. 114,000.
Thank you for praying for the people of Mali.
Pastor Jeremy & Jemima Guindo