AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The already poor population is stripped of everything," denounces the Bishop of Bangui

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Bangui is a dead city. There are very few people on the streets " says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga Archbishop of Bangui who yesterday, made a tour in the two districts of the Central African capital where serious accidents occurred among the population and the men of the rebel coalition Seleka who took the city last March 24.
"I went to the neighborhood Ouango, and then to Boy Rab," said Mgr. Nzapalainga. "These two neighborhoods are completely blocked due to the seizure of weapons in the hands of uncontrolled elements. But the operations have gone out of control: there has been violence and looting against the population. In Ouango I comforted the children of the orphanage plundered by the men of Seleka who took 4 of the institution vehicles, computers and office materials. Children and their tutors were forced to remain hidden for hours during the looting."
"In Boy Rab - the Bishop continues - I celebrated Mass in the parish of St. Bernard. At 5.30 p.m. we heard gun shots and the whole neighborhood was blocked. After Mass I stayed in the parish house until I went out to try to bring a bit of food to families in the area. I saw scenes of desolation: women and children left to fend for themselves. I also went to the monastery in the neighborhood that welcomed more than a hundred displaced."
The Bishop says that "the men of Seleka ransacked the homes of civilians. I saw the cars filled with things stolen from the poor population that pass in plain sight in front of all the streets of the city "
Mgr. Nzapalainga intends to be close to the most needy, despite the insecurity. "Today I will make the rounds of hospitals together with the Equipe Caritas, because we are seeing a new phenomenon: people are taking refuge in hospitals in order to escape the violence. We will also provide food to people ho have taken refuge in schools. "
The Bishop concluded by appealing to the new management so that they put an end to the looting. "You cannot deprive the population up to this point. The poor are already poor you cannot take what little they have."
"Who now has power in the Country must take some responsibility and stop this," he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/4/2013)