AFRICA/MALI-The Salesians: "The people are with the army of the coup"

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - "There is obviously concern and tense faces, but there are no conflicts on the streets. There have not been any shots against the population. The people are with the army. They are tired of government Tourè’s lies and of the way they manage the conflict with the Tuareg in the north of the country": this is the testimony of some Salesian missionaries in Mali, in the aftermath of the coup on behalf of a group of soldiers against President Amadou Toumani Tourè (see Fides 22/03/2012).
As reported in a note by Ans Salesian bulletin, sent to Fides, the Salesian missionaries and the Sisters of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, present in Mali for over 20 years, are living this moment with caution and waiting: Given the situation, for example, the annual Lenten procession which was planned for tomorrow, Sunday, March 25, where usually many young people participate, is in doubt. Meanwhile, after what is called "a full-blown coup", with the dissolution of Parliament and the cancellation of the Constitution, Fr. Faustino García Peña, Salesian Superior for the West African Francophone area – which Mali belongs to - is in constant communication with the missionaries on the spot, expressing support and guidance. Both the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have both received numerous messages of support and solidarity in this uncertain moment of national policy.
The Salesian missionaries have been working in Mali since 1985. The Salesian missions provide formation for young people and disadvantaged children, with schools, youth centers, reception centers, which help thousands of children every day to look to the future with hope. (Agenzia Fides 24/3/2012)