AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The testimony of a missionary in the midst of the violence in Central Africa
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Between 8 and 9 January, Seleka burned more than 1,300 homes and killed at least a dozen people in the area of Bozoum. To do this in a context of tensions, is suicide" denounces Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, a Carmelite missionary who works in Bozoum in the west of the Central African Republic. The country is torn by clashes between former Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka militia, who have forced a million civilians to flee.
Seleka have now pull backed from Bozoum, leaving behind lots of hatred and resentment against the Muslim population, considered a supporter of the rebels. Fr. Gazzera unceasingly continues to try to calm things down among the different communities, bringing loads of food at the same time. In the course of his missionary journeys he was a witness not only of looting and violence, but also of episodes of help among people of different faiths, as in a village , where several Muslim women were protected by the Christians.
In Bozoum the soldiers of MISCA (Mission of the Central African States) have arrived, but Fr. Gazzera says that "it is clear that we need a more significant military force. MISCA has left only 11 soldiers in the area who are not sufficient to ensure safety and initiate an urgent operation of disarmament". (LM) (Agenzia Fides 20/01/2014)
- 2015-05-18 - "We have to be humble to have the courage to forgive one another", said the Archbishop of Bangui
- 2015-03-26 - Caritas Bangui distributes aid to the displaced Muslims in Mbaiki
- 2015-03-03 - Archbishop of Bangui visits two militia leaders in prison
- 2015-02-24 - “Our country can be compared to a desert, where we must combat the temptations of the devil” says Archbishop Nzapalainga
- 2015-02-06 - "The conflict is political not religious" say three participants
- 2015-01-28 - Caritas: more funds needed for refugees from the Central African Republic
- 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