AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The testimony of two missionaries who welcome the displaced people fleeing violence

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - More than 300 deaths were caused by clashes carried out on December 5 and 6 between the Seleka rebels and anti Balaka militias in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. The French troops and those of the African Mission in Central Africa (MISCA) have started to control the streets and clashes of great magnitude have not been reported.
Fides Agency received the testimony of two Carmelite missionaries working in the Country. The first is Fr. Frederico Trinchero, who works at the Carmel mission in Bangui. Referring to yesterday, December 6, Fr. Frederico says that "there were no shots during the night. But around 6 the shots were heard in the neighborhoods. The inhabitants of the district arrived at the mission of the Carmel: about 2000 people. Luckily for us there is only one wounded person. Many children. In the church there are more than 350 people. The others are in the houses and in the courtyard between the church and the refectory. Now we are trying to give these people something to eat. But it will be difficult because we cannot go out to do some shopping".
Fr. Aurelio Gazzera who works in Bouzoum in the north-west of the Country, reports that on December 5 "it was a relatively calm day until 7 pm, when there were a few shots in the city. Therefore at 7.30 pm approximately 300-400 people went to the mission to spend the night in the parish, where they feel safe".
On the morning of 6 December, continues the missionary "everyone returned to their house and we did lessons in schools, but there were half of the students".
Fr. Aurelio says he looked for the Imam, but did not find him and saw several "Muslims and Fulani with machetes and knives ready to defend themselves from a possible revenge on behalf of the Anti-Balaka. The local population, seeing the armed Muslims, are even more afraid". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/12/2013)