Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "The security problems in our area are concentrated in the border area with Cameroon mainly due to the arrival of Peuls nomadic peoples, who are protected by Seleka rebels", says Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, a Carmelite missionary, parish priest in Bozoum, in the north-west of the Central African Republic.
The Peuls are mostly breeders who move with their herds in search of pastures and water sources, and collide from time to time with the sedentary and agricultural populations they encounter on their way. "It is the story of Cain and Abel, a story which is as old as the world", says Fr. Aurelio, but that is intertwined with the modernity of financial investments. The Peuls, originally from Nigeria, have always been involved in breeding, along the Saharan belt from West to East, from Mali to Ethiopia. "What has changed - explains Fr. Aurelio - is that several strong African men, heads of State and government, generals, entrepreneurs, invest part of their fortunes in thousands of cattle who rely on the Peuls. Therefore, behind these massive movements of herds carried out by the Peuls, there are strong economic interests. The territories where the State is very weak or completely absent, as in Central Africa, are the privileged destinations of the Peuls who handle these immense herds. There is therefore the interest on the part of influential African people that certain areas of the continent remain no man's land to allow their herds to graze in total disregard of the needs of local populations", says the missionary.
"As far as the rest is concerned, calm prevails. The hottest areas of the country remain those of Bambari and Bria where several gangs are competing for the control of diamond mines or simply of road check points in order to extort money. They too have no interest in re-establishing the state and order", concludes Fr. Aurelio (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 21/6/2018)