AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Local Church denounces episodes of violence in past two months

Saturday, 1 December 2018


Bossangoa (Agenzia Fides) – “Despite efforts on the part of our local Church to promote peace and fraternal relations, despite our total solidarity with those in need regardless of beliefs or political conviction, we have been targeted” Fides was told by Mons Désiré Nongo Aziagbia of the Society for African Missions, bishop of Bossangoa.
“Priests killed, church buildings torched or desacralised, sacred objects stolen or destroyed. These actions can be interpreted as a method used by countless enemies to plunge us into a religious crisis”, Bishop Nongo continues in the report he sent after various episodes in his diocese in October and November.
The bishops speaks of serious facts involving military of the UN Peace Forces, who reportedly support and protect ex-Seleka Muslim militia attacking refugee camps and church structures offering shelter.
“Following the incidents which led to the destruction of camps for displaced persons, private homes in the districts of Tarabanda and Yabende as well as the Catholic presbytery in the parish of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Batangafo, from 12 to 16 November 2018, I went on a fact finding mission to assess the situation, assisted by the Joint Protection Team (JPT) of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), 8 members of which come from the Office of Bossangoa and 6 from headquarters in Bangui”, the bishop reported.
Mons. Nongo expressed his disappointment for the consequences of the incidents (against which the UN peace-keeping troops do nothing), for the humanitarian situation, deteriorated relations between Christians and Muslims, increasing insecurity and abuses against civilians, describing a path of reconciliation now fatally compromised. (NN/AP) (1/12/2018 Agenzia Fides)