AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The State has collapsed, UN intervention is needed": appeal of the Archbishop of Bangui and the Imam
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - The new President of the Central African Republic, Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza, swears in today, January 23, in a Country ravaged by fighting between former Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka militia. Often described as a result of an inter-religious conflict that opposes Christians to Muslims, the Central African situation actually comes from the collapse of state institutions, as emphasized by the Archbishop of Bangui, Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga and the Imam, Oumar Kobine Layama, President of the Central African Islamic community, who are on a visit in Paris.
The two religious leaders are engaged in a tour of the European capitals to ask for help and support for their Country. The Archbishop and the Imam who have done their best to pacify the souls during several joint visits to churches and mosques where thousands of displaced people have found shelter, report that while the situation in Bangui is relatively under control, the rest of the Country is at the mercy of Seleka and anti-Balaka .
Welcoming the election of President Samba-Panza (called an "Iron Lady" by Imam Kobine Layama) Mgr. Nzapalainga insisted on the fact that the new Head of State is faced with a daunting task because the state administration has fully collapsed. "Out of 36 ministries, only two work, defense and administration of the territory", the Archbishop told AFP. "The State has failed. The administration with men and means needs to be rebuilt, in order for the Country to be a State".
The two religious leaders are demanding that the African military mission currently deployed in the Country (MISCA) becomes part of a larger force under UN protection, in order to secure the whole Country. Currently there are 6,000 French soldiers in Central Africa. Too few to control a Country as vast as France and Luxembourg, said Mgr. Nzapalainga. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2014)
- 2014-10-15 - Contacts with the kidnappers of the Polish missionary
- 2014-10-08 - Despite chaos and violence in Bozoum, schools have reopened and the pastoral year has started
- 2014-10-03 - Caritas France: "The situation is still critical because of violence"
- 2014-10-01 - "The crisis pushes more and more faithful to religious syncretism" denounces Mgr. Nzapalainga
- 2014-09-18 - "He protected the Muslims": the Alison Des Forges Award to a Central African camillian
- 2014-09-16 - “Central African crisis not insuperable” says Archbishop of Bangui
- 2014-08-18 - The Archbishop of Bangui to politicians "stop the suffering of the people as soon as possible"
- 2014-07-17 - Civil society presents a scheme to lead the country out of the crisis
- 2014-07-11 - "Immediate start of the process of disarmament to ensure safety" ask religious leaders and politicians
- 2014-07-09 - 17 people who sought refuge in the area of the Cathedral in Bambari have been killed