AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "Anti Balaka are not Christians", says Cardinal Nzapalainga

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 dialogue   peace  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - We want a united Central Africa, where Christians and Muslims live in peace. This is what Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui and Imam Oumar Kobine Layama said in an interview to Afrique-Asie periodical, who together with the Pastor Nicolas Guérékoyamé Gbangou, are the members of the Central African Religious Confessions Platform.
In a country where 80% of the population is Christian (half Catholics and half Protestants) and 20% Muslims, "it was our job to give value to what unites us and not to what divides us", said imam Kobine. The presence of armed groups that refer to the Islamic religion (the former Seleka rebels) or to the Christian religion (the so-called anti Balaka) has political motivations and of exploitation of the Country's natural resources. "We have always refused to say that anti-Balaka are Christians. They are killers, point", said Cardinal Nzapalainga. "That is why we have created the Central African Religious Confessions Platform in order to affirm the unity of our religions".
The two religious leaders emphasize that they can contribute to disarming the souls, but the intervention of the international community is needed to ensure security which is still precarious.
President Faustin-Archange Touadera has summoned the various Central African factions to discuss peace, except for two, complains imam Kobine, "the one led by François Bozizé and that led by Michel Djotodia. It is clear therefore that there is much more than religious contrast in this story". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/9/2017)