AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - " Free Central Africans from suffering": Bishops appeal

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides)- End the suffering of the Central African people by fully applying the Libreville Accord reached on 11 January. This appeal was launched by the Catholic Bishops of the Central African Republic CAR in a message with the title "Let deadly ties be severed and the Central African people saved from suffocation", sent to Fides.
The Libreville accord signed by the CAR government and the Seleka rebel coalition entails, among other things, a ceasefire, the constitution of a government of national unity and the withdrawal of rebels from areas occupied by them .
However the Bishops denounce, "much of Central Africa is still occupied by the armed rebellion. The people live in fear, they are dispersed in the forest, prevented from freely engaging in their activities: the fields have been abandoned ".
Schools and hospitals are either in ruins or unable to operate , consequently, the message underlines "there is no respect for the inviolable right to physical integrity of every human person, particularly women and girls, who are repeatedly abused and raped ".
Even government buildings and church buildings are "looted, destroyed and profaned".
To address this situation the CAR Bishops call on the international community and all sides involved in the resolution of the crisis, to open paths to allow food and medicine to reach the exhausted people and to restore telephone communication. They call on the government to "shoulder its responsibility to guarantee safety of men and women religious and all central African citizens" . They urge the rebels to stop violence and looting against civilians and public and religious infrastructures. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/2/2013)