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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-07-11 12:42:42
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Caritas Africa condemns the violation of human rights by Seleka troops in the Central African Republic

Caritas Africa has issued a statement condemning the violation of human rights in Central Africa by Seleka troops. The statement was issued in Nairobi at the weekend where the National Directors of Caritas Africa have been meeting. In the statement the agency expressed concerns with regards to the suffering imposed on the innocent population by the Seleka soldiers and called upon the government to take measures to protect the people and their property. Seleka is an umbrella of several former rebel groups that had been fighting the ousted President Francois Bozzize. Some of the fighters are members of radical Islamic groups recruited from Sudan and Chad. These have targeted the Churches in the Central African Republic, desecrating places of worship and looting parishes, missions and Christian health and educational facilities. Caritas Africa expressed gratitude to the Church in the Central African Republic for its courageous and prophetic efforts aimed at restoring hope to the suffering people and for working to prevent the extension of the crisis and its transformation into a religious conflict. It assured the people of the Central African Republic of its solidarity, and launched an appeal to international institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union to help end the crisis. It also appealed to the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, SECAM, currently meeting in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo to deal with the situation together with the Bishops of the Country, and to authorize Caritas to start the collection of relief aid from the local Churches for the people in the Central African Republic.
Meanwhile, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, received a delegation from the Central African Republic at the weekend to discuss the situation in the country. The delegation was accompanied by His Grace Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Archbishop of Bangui. The head of the delegation, Mr. Godefroy Mokamanede, on behalf of the others, told the cardinal that the Catholic Church in the country is and remains the sole voice of the voiceless. He lamented the indifference of the international community, which he said had turned a blind eye to the deteriorating situation in the country, as Seleka troops kill people and loot private and public property. He said despite the desecration of places of worship, theft and looting of the assets of parishes, missions, schools and Catholic health centers by the Seleka soldiers, the Catholic Church in the country is leading interfaith initiatives in search of peace.


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