AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - The Central African Bishops: "Feelings of hopelessness for the conditions of the population"

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Central Africa denounce "the inertia and total inaction of the signatories of the agreement of Libreville, in a statement issued after an extraordinary Council of the Central African Episcopal Conference (CZECH). The agreements of Libreville were signed on 11 January by the government of Bangui and the rebels of the coalition Seleka after they had taken control of large areas of the Country and threatened to march on the capital.
His Exc. Mgr. Désiré Nestor Nongo Aziagbia, Bishop of Bossangoa, said that "there is a feeling of discomfort shared by the Bishops of Central Africa after the signing of the agreements in Libreville. It is noted that the protagonists of the crisis live in inertia and total inaction. Nothing is done. The people of Central Africa is fully taken hostage. It suffers. Therefore it is important to find the means to free the people from the asphyxiation in which they are kept."
In mid-February the Central African Bishops had declared the tragic living conditions of the population (see Fides 21/02/2013). Their new project comes after a fact-finding mission by some religious leaders in the Country in areas still controlled by the rebel coalition Seleka. "A deplorable situation" the, Christians and Muslims religious leaders said at the end of the so-called "peace tour" that took them to visit the city of Grimari, Bambari, Alindao et de Mobaye. His Exc. Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, says he experienced "a feeling of desolation. When you see all these armed young men, all of these buildings destroyed, there is desolation. And we also saw the fear in the faces of the people. All this has deeply affected us."
Imam Kobir Layama denounced that the actions of Seleka are likely to provoke a conflict between Christians and Muslims, saying he was "disgusted" and saddened by this. Christian and Muslim leaders have the intention to promote an inter-religious march to demand the return of peace in Central Africa. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/032013)