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article imageCentral African Republic orphan walks 100 km to safety

By Mike White     Feb 26, 2014 in World
After seeing his parents killed in front of him and not being sure any of his five siblings had survived an attack on his family, a seven-year-old orphan walked 100 km to safety in the Central African Republic.
CBC reported Ibrahim Adamou watched as Christian militiamen killed his parents in front of him. The attack occurred as the family of herders traveled in the countryside. He began to run.
Ibrahim was alone and barefoot as he traveled the 100 kilometers. At night he slept under banana trees, which provided a thick covering. During the day he followed red rutted paths. He had nothing to eat and wondered where he was going.
Peacekeepers finally spotted him pointed the way to Carnot and a Catholic church that was sheltering 800 Muslims, including those like Ibrahim. The peackeepers also gave him cookies. A Christian man on a motorcycle gave the boy a lift, risking his own life, and the orphan arrived early Monday at the church.
"When we got to a checkpoint, the militia fighters told the man, `Leave the boy here and we will kill him'," Ibrahim remembered. "But the man said, `If you are going to kill him, you must kill me too' and then they let us pass."
There are six or more other children with stories just like that of Ibrahim in Carnot. During the almost three months since the country erupted in violence between Muslims and Christians, hundreds have died. Children are often the only survivors.
The Associated Press reported many people, like those in Ibrahim's family, were attacked earlier this month as they fled violence. It is only now that those who survived have been able to make it to Carnot.
The refugees at the church may find safety at the church only temporarily.
Armed Christian gangs outside the compound have demanded they leave the country or face death within a week. The fighters have threatened to burn the church down with gasoline.
Deseret News reported the man on the motorcycle hid Ibrahim in his own home temporarily. He hid him for several days before bringing him to the church.
Other refugees gave the orphans their own coins, so he could pay someone at the mission to cook meals for him. The priests said Ibrahim is welcome at the mission as long as he wants to stay.
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