AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The LRA guerrillas lay down their arms, but the intervention of Seleka threatens to derail the agreement

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) – The rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the armed group of Ugandan origin that wreaks havoc in a vast area between South Sudan, north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic have started to lay down their arms.
"We are talking about sixty men with their wives and their children", says to Fides Agency Mgr. Juan José Aguirre Munos, Bishop of Bangassou, in south-eastern Central African Republic.
"The LRA rebels have divided themselves into several groups. And one of these groups has decided to lay down their arms", said the Bishop.
"This group met in an area of about thirty kilometers from the city of N'Zako. A humanitarian emergency has been created because the former guerrillas and their families are in need of everything. Two non-governmental organizations have sent their representatives to bring help to these people, but the military Seleka present in N'Zako arrested them on charges that they were not allowed to enter the area", said Mgr. Aguirre.
Seleka is the coalition of rebel movements that took power in Central Africa after having thrown out former President François Bozizé.
"It is a serious matter because in the face of an important first gesture of peace by the LRA rebels, that have laid down their arms and asked to reintegrate into society, the intervention of the military Seleka risks to derail everything" concludes Mgr. Aguirre. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/10/2013)