AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "What are the true intentions of Seleka towards us?" Ask the Bishops
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Never this anymore, no to impunity". Is the title of the letter sent to the new Central African President, Michel-Am Nondroko Djotodia, from the three Bishops of the Metropolitan diocese of Bangui: Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Mgr. Nestor Désiré Nongo Aziagbia, Bishop of Bossangoa; Mgr. Cyr Nestor Yapaupa, Bishop of Alindao.
"In closeness to the suffering people and driven by the pastoral concern" the Bishops "humbly" propose some proposals to the President in order to release the Central African Republic from the crisis which began last December and which continues even after the conquest of Bangui by the rebel Seleka coalition, the ouster of former President François Bozizé and the establishment of the new regime.
The Bishops criticize the logic of war, which has led to the current situation (while recognizing as true certain claims advanced by the rebels: poverty, lack of water and electricity ...), and denounce the violence committed against the population by members of Seleka: torture, sexual violence against women and girls (some of whom have committed suicide); recruitment of child soldiers, displacement of people; looting of public buildings, hospitals, schools ... "The Central Africans are now considered as beasts of burden that one has to chase and kill with impunity, " say the three prelates.
"What are the true intentions of Seleka towards us" ask the Bishops noting that the areas occupied by the rebel movement (made up largely of foreign Muslims), the Christian population and ecclesial communities have been systematically looted while Muslim families have been spared.
The Bishops are asking the new President to denounce the violence of Seleka, to initiate a process of disarmament, to repatriate stolen assets transferred in Chad and Sudan, and to indemnify the Church for all properties "stolen, looted or vandalized." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/05/2013)
- 2015-01-14 - "Signs of hope but still too much violence, also due to the strong movement of weapons", say the Bishops
- 2015-01-13 - The situation is improving, the Bishops launch a campaign for social cohesion
- 2015-01-07 - Archbishop of Bangui threatened with death while bringing assistance to the displaced
- 2014-12-30 - Archbishop of Bangui pays a visit to former Seleka rebels again
- 2014-12-09 - “Where are you, perpetrator of violence in Central Africa?” demands the Archbishop of Bangui
- 2014-12-04 - Special Mass for peace at Bangui Carmel hosting 4,000 refugees
- 2014-12-02 - The Bishops denounce: "Banditry threatens peace, it seems that some have fun scattering weapons among the population"
- 2014-11-28 - The head of the group that had seized the Polish priest has been released
- 2014-11-27 - The Vicar General of Bouar: "Fr. Mateusz is fine and was released without the use of force"
- 2014-11-25 - Mgr. Nzapalainga and the Church in aid of former Seleka rebels: a gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation