AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The situation has improved in Bozoum, but the situation remains precarious in the rest of the Country", says a missionary

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Safety conditions are improving in Bozoum, at least we managed to block the violence and theft that occurred in past days", says to Fides Agency Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, a Carmelite missionary in Bozoum, in the north-west of the Central African Republic, where the situation remains precarious because of violence and reprisals between former Seleka rebels and "Anti Balaka" groups. Seleka is a coalition of rebel groups, mostly composed by Muslims, who had taken power in Central Africa in March 2013 and were then were thrown out by Anti Balaka groups, (the history of these groups is more complex, see Fides 27/01/2014). The Anti Balaka were responsible of crimes against Muslims.
"The situation in Bangui, the capital, and in the north of the country is worrying, because Seleka groups and their allies are mainly concentrated in these areas and continue to pose a threat to urban centers such as Kaga Bandoro and Bambari - says the missionary - . Among other things, the rebels continue to pursue the idea of dividing these areas from the rest of Central Africa".
As far as food is concerned Fr. Gazzera reports that thanks to the French patrols and MISCA (African Mission in Central Africa) supplies, albeit with difficulty, manage to arrive from Cameroon, while the situation of refugees and displaced persons is still serious". "In the Catholic mission of Carnot - says Fr. Gazzera - for example, there are still thousands of displaced persons, while most of the Muslims have left because of the violence committed by the Anti Balaka, those who decided to remain are still afraid and few have returned to their villages of origin".
The missionary finally recalls last week’s visit by His Exc. Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Oumar Kobine Layama, respectively Archbishop and Imam of Bangui, and Pastor Nicolas Grékoyamé - Gbangou, President of the Evangelical Churches. "The three religious leaders attended the meeting that we have in Bozoum every morning with the few remaining authorities and people of good will, in order to coordinate the management of public affairs. Their encouragement helped us", concludes Fr. Gazzera. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/03/2014)