Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - "It is together and in synergy that we will overcome violence. The Lord is here with us and we will win", said Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou and President of the Bishop’s Conference Burkina Faso-Niger, in his address to the 3rd Plenary General Assembly of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Afrique ( RECOWA-CERAO) held in the capital of Burkina Faso from 13 to 20 May (see Fides, 13/5/2019; 15/5/2019).
In Burkina Faso, two very serious attacks against the Catholic community were committed within 24 hours. The first on Sunday, May 12, against the parish of Dablo during which an armed group killed Don Siméon Yampa and five faithful (see Fides, 13/5/2019), the second on May 13 against a Marian procession in Singa, which caused the death of four faithful and the destruction of the statue of the Virgin (see Fides, 14/5/2019).
In his speech, Cardinal Ouédraogo thanked the guests for coming to Burkina Faso despite the climate of insecurity. "The presence of the Bishops of the sister Churches demonstrates the lively solidarity between the communities of West Africa and the world".
In his greeting to the participants Jean Claude Kassi Brou, representative of the Economic Community of the African States of the West (CEDEAO) praised the intention expressed by the Church to contribute to peace and social cohesion in the region. An effort all the more necessary because, as stated in his speech by the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the terrorists are trying to unleash inter-communal and now also interreligious conflicts. "Christians have been killed for their faith, without other reasons, by people who have no morals or ethics", he said.
Even in neighboring Niger, terrorists follow the same modus operandi. On May 13, about thirty armed people attacked the parish of Dolbel, wounding the parish priest and looting the structure (see Fides, 14/5/2019).
Also in Niger, on March 14, 28 soldiers died in an ambush by a jihadist group in the town of Tongo Tongo, on the border with Mali. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/5/2019)