AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Cardinal Nzapalainga: "2017 is a year marked by violence against the people and the Church"

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 violence   bishops  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Where are we going? What will the people of Central Africa in 2018 become?" asked Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, in his opening speech for the plenary meeting of the Bishops' Conference of Central Africa.
Taking stock of the year which has just ended, Cardinal Nzapalainga stressed that 2017 was a "unfortunate year, which saw the murder and aggression of many servants of God in Bangui, but especially in our provinces: Banguassou, Alindao, Mokoyo, etc. Churches devastated, looted or burned; faithful martyred. Last year’s toll is alarming. But we have faith in the great goodness of the Lord towards us, as Pope Francis reminded us during his stay in Bangui".
In November 2015, Pope Francis visited Bangui, where he opened the Holy Door of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (see Fides 30/11/2015).
The ordinary session of the Central African Episcopal Conference opened yesterday, January 8th and will end on Sunday, January 14th. At the center of the work there are issues such as security, education and health.
The situation in several areas of the Central African Republic continues to deteriorate. Among the areas most affected by the presence of armed gangs is that of Paoua, in the north-west on the border with Cameroon, where since December 27 members of the RJ (Révolution Justice) and the Mouvement National for the Liberation of the Centrafrique (MNLC) have been fighting.
At least 30,000 people have fled to the cities of Paoua, from the surrounding villages due to the indiscriminate violence committed against the civilian population by the guerrillas of both factions. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/1/2018)