Bujumbura (Fides Service) – The Catholic Bishops of Burundi have launched yet another heartfelt plea for peace in their country, following their message to the nation in March (see Fides 25 March 2003). Addressing once again the people in general and in particular the leaders the bishops say they hope that “the spirit of dialogue may continue to guide you as you strive to create political institutions which reassure all Burundians”. The Bishops denounce “signals which sow doubts and fear, continuing war, and the fact that it is mainly the ordinary people who suffer most. Targeted homicides, particularly of local leaders, are seen again, almost as if planned. Armed robberies committed by uniformed men are multiplying; persons sow discord and division in the districts of Bujumbura and in the hills”.
To address the question the Bishops appeal firmly to the political leaders: “Save Burundi from war. Devote all your efforts to maintaining peace. It is unacceptable that the poor are always the ones to suffer when there is war. We call on the warring parties to apply international conventions relative to the protection of the civilian population. Those who violate these conventions will be pursued and punished according to international law”.LM (Fides Service 2/5/2003 EM lines 19 Words: 240)