AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - ARMY VOWS TO PUT AN END TO CRIME. MISSIONARIES ANXIOUS TO RESUME SERVICE THE MOMENT MINIMUM SECURITY IS GUARANTEED
Bangui (Fides Service) – Faced with the serious situation of insecurity in Central African Republic, President Francois Bozize has called on the army to organize a major police operation to stop groups of armed bandits from terrorizing the people.
These groups also include irregular forces from Chad which helped Bozize take power, overthrowing former president Ange-Felix Patasse in March this year.
“The President’s decision is another step towards re-stabilizing the country” a local source tells Fides Service. “After the constitution of a national unity government, the appointment of governors, impulse given to the struggle to eliminate crime, this initiative is indispensable for meeting the needs of the people”.
Robberies, thefts and murders are the order of the day in the Central African Republic which has just exited from a tragic civil war in which the combatants were former president Patasse and former army chief Bozize. Although the fighting has ceased the country is still overrun by various armed groups mostly disbanded forces faithful to Bozize which are the cause of the situation of serious insecurity.
“With regard to criminality, in Bangui the situation is relatively calm; the trouble is in the province where police forces have yet to be organised” says the source contacted by Fides Service. “This is the reason why a number of mission centres, abandoned at the peak of the fighting, are still closed. However missionaries are anxious to return to work as soon as possible, the moment minimum security conditions are guaranteed.”
Many church structures were damaged or some even destroyed in the war and in the present violence. The Bishops’ Conference is presently making a list of damages to missions and dispensaries which are indispensable points of help for the local people. LM (Fides Service 27/5/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 325)
AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
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