AFRICA/LIBYA-"Do not divide Libya, we risk creating a breeding ground for terrorism," warns the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - "Around midnight, one o'clock, we heard the explosion of several bombs in the distance. They must have hit the barracks in Bab-Al Ziziya (Gaddafi's residence). They always hit there, but I do not know how far they want to go, because, as I always say, bombing does not solve anything, " His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic vicar of Tripoli says to Fides.
In recent days, the Coptic Orthodox church, which is located near a barrack was bombed, and suffered extensive damage: doors knocked down, broken glass ... (see Fides 06/01/2011). "We had a meeting attended by all heads of various Christian denominations present in Tripoli, to express solidarity with our brother Coptic Orthodox for the damage to his church," says Mgr.Martinelli. "We are united to deplore the incident, but especially to pray, so violence calms down. We all ask ourselves a question: why is this happening? We were astonished by the failure of international diplomacy and, perhaps, by its prejudice that makes dialogue impossible with the leadership of Tripoli. "
The African Union mediation led by South African President Zuma has so far produced no results. According to Mgr. Martinelli "South Africa showed, however, a sign of good will and, apparently, something is moving. The problem is that no other diplomacy has supported this path. It seems to me that there is an underlying prejudice that undermines attempts to mediate and reach a truce. It strikes me that NATO has renewed the military operation in Libya for another 3 months without regard to any possibility of dialogue, as called for by the UN and the Holy Father", says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.
Mgr Martinelli says he is concerned because he finds it very difficult to communicate with the Catholic community in Cyrenaica, where attacks have been reported: "We are isolated from Benghazi and we cannot get in touch with different communities of Cyrenaica. Wanting to divide Libya means to create breeding ground for terrorist acts. " (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/04/2011)