AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Cardinal Nzapalainga after the massacre: "Is there a willingness to divide the Country? Is there a hidden agenda?"

Thursday, 3 May 2018 massacres   violence  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "I bow to the memory of our brothers and sisters who are no longer with us and offer condolences to their families. I am spiritually close to the injured", said Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, on his return to the Central African Republic. The Country is still in shock for the massacre in Notre Dame de Fatima parish perpetrated on May 1, causing according to the latest updated toll, 24 dead and 170 injured. Among the dead there is also a highly esteemed priest, Don Albert Toungoumale-Baba (see Fides 2/5/2018).
"Violence is not the solution to our problems", the Cardinal reiterated. "For this reason I strongly condemn what happened in Notre Dame de Fatima parish. I appeal to the government and MINUSCA (UN Mission in Central Africa) to investigate into the matter", says the Cardinal. "Behind these events, I ask myself questions: what is happening? Have there been manipulations, exploitation? Is there a willingness to divide the Country? Is there a hidden agenda? Let us look for answers to these questions together".
However, the Cardinal raised the hope that "in difficult situations such as this, heroes arise, and I do not doubt that heroes exist in the Central African Republic, so that they stand together to say no to violence, no to barbarism, no to self-destruction. This is why I appeal to all political, administrative, religious groups, without distinction, to condemn together what happened. At the same time I say to all those who are believers that at the moment of trial we must rely on God, who gave us the peace of Christ. I appeal to all to avoid anger, hatred, revenge and reprisals".
"I ask Christ, Prince of Peace, to touch everyone’s hearts, so that they may convert, lay down their arms and be able to look each other in the face. May Mary, Queen of Peace, bless our Country", concluded the Cardinal. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/5/2018)