The president of Caritas Central African Republic has strongly condemned the Good Friday killing of a priest in the diocese of Bossangoa.
Reports say Fr Christ Forman Wilibona was shot six times by armed men while riding on a motorcycle through traffic. He was on his way to Paoua where he was the parish priest at Saint Kisito church.
In a statement released following the killing, Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, head of Caritas CAR, said,
“We denounce and condemn these barbaric acts from another age. They could compromise the move towards national reconciliation we have so longed for.”
The archbishop calls on the CAR government to restore the rule of law and for African Union and international forces to disarm militias so people are free to move around the country.
He said the killing marked an upsurge in violence against religious – in particular those in the north-west of the country.
The killing of Fr Wilibona came just two days after Bishop Nestor Azagbya Nongo of Bossangoa and three diocesan priests were kidnapped by ex-Seleka militia in Batangafo and later released.
“We invite the people of the Central African Republic as well as all men and women of good will to pray for the return of peace and security to our country and to open their hearts to dialogue and reconciliation,” said Archbishop Nzapalainga.