Chris de Bode

Maroua, Far North Province, Cameroon

Al Haj Boukar, 46, was a wealthy business owner who fled the conflict and is now plunged into poverty with his family of eleven, including his mother Hadjia, who is estimated to be about 100 years-old. He lives behind a rusty metal gate in a small compound with two small buildings that house his two wives and 14 children, several of whom are his brother's and were orphaned in the attack on their village. The children are aged from 2 months to 18 years old. There are only four small rooms for everyone to sleep in and the rent costs 55,000 CFA a month (around GBP70).

'I look after fourteen children, two wives and my mother. Four are orphans, the children of my brother who was shot when armed men entered my village. They entered on a Wednesday at 4.00pm. They spent the night in the town and left the following day. I was a target. They were looking for me in person. They come for wealthy people. They say 'give us money and we'll do God's work'. If we refuse, they kill you. I had to flee and leave my family. They even searched for me in the ceiling. They took off the ceiling to make sure I wasn't hiding there.

'My daughter, who was with my brother, was also shot. We brought her to the hospital here in Maroua to get treatment. I was very very scared that since they killed my brother and shot my daughter, if they got me they would have killed me as well. My daughter was just collateral damage. She wasn't a target. But since they were together, she was shot. She is 13 and she is OK. She lives here with us.

'When I left I came to Maroua and then my family also fled to Mora. I sent a car to go and get them there. I was very afraid because I knew my brother was already killed.

'I knew people here in town. So I asked people to help me find a place to rent. I found this place. I know the man who owns it. In my village there is not even a single fly that is left there. I would not leave Maroua.

'In my village I had shops. I had 20 people w

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Object Name
Chris de Bode
Maroua, Far North Province
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