This page is also available in: French, Spanish

A man holds a machete (aka Balaka in Songo) on November 8, 2013 in the outskirts of Bangui. Chaos followed the ouster of Francois Bozize earlier this year, opposing the anti-Balaka and the ex-Seleka rebels and reports of summary executions, looting and abuses against civilians have prompted international concern that the Central African Republic could become another Somali-style failed state. Credit: Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas

A man holds a machete (aka Balaka in Songo) on November 8, 2013 in the outskirts of Bangui. Chaos followed the ouster of Francois Bozize earlier this year, opposing the anti-Balaka and the ex-Seleka rebels and reports of summary executions, looting and abuses against civilians have prompted international concern that the Central African Republic could become another Somali-style failed state. Credit: Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas

By Fr Jerome Emilien Dansona of Bossangoa

On December 10th 2012, Seleka fighters began their military offensive in the Central African Republic. Since that day, thousands of people have been killed, women have been raped and villages burnt.

In September, Seleka attacked the people of Bossangoa. At least 40,000 people have taken refuge in the Catholic mission compound here.

While those crimes are committed in the Central African Republic, world leaders are keeping silent. Thinking about our own situation, I recall one of the songs of Bob Dylan in which the singer asked: “How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?”

I would like to ask the same question to world leaders: How many ears must you have before you can hear our cry?

How many thousands of people must be killed before you understand that the situation in the Central African Republic is unprecedented. Why do you keep quiet while women are raped, innocent people are killed and villages and fields torched.

What do you think when in Bossangoa, more than five thousands persons are obliged to live together in an area as large as a football field [in the seminary]?

We know that you are able to stop all the kinds of crime which are committed here, why do you do nothing? Please can we know the difference in value between our lives and others? How are you able to sleep quietly on your beds while day by day children are dying here?

You speak so much; now you must act.