AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Calm returns in Bangassou. "Now we need to reconcile the souls" says the Bishop

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Yesterday we saw Abdallah , the "warlord" who had spread terror in Bangassou. He was put on a plane to be transported to Bangui, where he will be judged for the crimes committed", says to Fides Agency Juan José Aguirre Muños, Bishop of Bangassou, the south-eastern city in the Central African Republic, where since October 1, part of the population had rebelled against the continued harassment perpetrated by the Seleka militiamen (see Fides 01/10/2013). The situation risked degenerating into an interfaith fight because Seleka had armed Muslim traders who had lined up alongside the militiamen. "At least 12 people died in the clashes, and tension was high, to the point that the government in Bangui was forced to send a delegation of two Ministers and a military contingent to restore order", said Mgr. Aguirre.
"The military unarmed the men of Seleka and both Christian and Muslim civilians. Now we are waiting for the arrival of the soldiers of the peacekeeping force of the Countries of Central Africa that will guarantee security in the city".
"The important work to do is to reconcile the souls", stresses the Bishop. We are organizing to send dialogue committees in different districts of Bangassou (predominantly Catholic, Muslim or mixed) in order to promote forgiveness and tolerance after the tragic moments lived", concluded Mgr. Aguirre.
Meanwhile, the Catholic and Protestant churches in the country have signed the "Appeal of Bangui" with which one invites the faithful Christians to peace and reconciliation with Muslims and calls upon the international community to intervene in order to get Central Africa out of the crisis. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2013)