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Don't abandon Central African Republic

Caritas and the Catholic Church in Central African Republic are calling for an immediate ceasefire as heavy fighting breaks out in the capital Bangui between forces loyal to the former president and the fighters who overthrew his regime.

Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui said, “We’re deeply concerned about the crisis in Central African Republic. The situation in Bangui is chaotic. Many people have been killed. The fighting must stop immediately.

“Women and children are coming to churches to seek safety across the capital. They have nothing to eat and drink, so we are giving them what we can.”

There are about 10,000 people who are in St. Bernard Church and the monastery in the neighborhood of Boy- Rabe, where clashes started.

Caritas Internationalis has been supporting relief efforts in the country through the national Caritas office.

The Caritas Central African Republic director Fr Elysee Guendjande is in Caritas Internationalis headquarters in Rome for a meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis.

Fr Elysee Guendjande said the Catholic Church and Caritas Central African Republic is calling for an immediate ceasefire and says there is an urgent need for international aid as the humanitarian crisis spirals.

For more information, please contact Valerie Kaye, Communication Officer for Caritas Internationalis at +39 06 698 79757 or by e-mail at kaye@caritas.va