AFRICA/ANGOLA - Bishops in government: it is necessary to declare a "state of emergency"

Saturday, 12 March 2022 politics   bishops  

Borgen Project

Dundo (Agenzia Fides) - "We bishops have long been pointing out that the south of the country is living in conditions of extreme fragility: it has not rained for a long time, there is a serious famine, the cattle cannot find food and people and farmers do not work and live in poverty. This is not the first time that we ask the executive to declare a state of emergency that allows to bring aid to the population and allow them to get back on their feet. Our means are now insufficient, the national Caritas and the aid agencies are not able to help us and the situation is very worrying". This is what Msgr. Stanislao Chindekasse, Bishop of Dundo, vice president of the Episcopal Conference of Angola says to Fides. The Bishop explains the reasons that have led the Bishops to address the Angolan government directly to request the "declaration of a state of emergency" and rapid action to deal with the serious problems in which the southern part of the country is particularly affected. For years, the southern regions have been experiencing a very serious crisis which has led tens of thousands of people to flee to neighboring Namibia to remedy a situation of real famine. We repeated this request to the central government, he said, but we have not received an official response. On the contrary, several journalists and opinion leaders have attacked the Church, accusing it of interfering in matters that do not concern it. But how can they ask us not to deal with people's problems? It is hard to deny that what we say is true. In addition, almost the entire population is with us and approves of the position of the Church, because it is in direct contact with the people and knows their suffering". Meanwhile, in the context of general discontent affecting all regions of the country, not just the south, Angola is preparing for the elections to be held next August. "As Bishops - concludes Msgr. Stanislao Chindekasse - we have written a letter to all citizens to participate in the vote and express their opinion. At the same time, we ask that the process be transparent. And we hope that this appointment will be a positive moment for the entire population". (LA) (Agenzia Fides, 12/3/2022)