Fr Aurélio Gazzera is the local diocesan Caritas director in Bouar in Northern Central African Republic.
On Sunday evening, I was making a visit to sick person in town when I was called over by a group of people. They took me to see a young man who’d been badly beaten after being arrested.
Seleka fighters has stopped him in Bocaranga for no reason. They brought him to Bozoum, where he says he was imprisoned for 11 hours, beaten so badly he lost an eye and was left with his legs and arms paralyzed. His family had to pay 90.000 f CFA to take him to hospital.
On Monday morning, a widower came to see me to ask for prayers for her son, who’d been similarly arrested and beaten. Again, he’d lost an eye and couldn’t move his arms. She was being asked for 150,000 fCFA to take him to hospital.
I went […]
By Fr Aurelio Gazzera, Bozoum
Now there are already 2,400 displaced, and I fear the numbers will increase as the situation in the country continues to be precarious. This week in the capital Bangui there was shooting and looting and at least one dozen people were killed. But also in the rest of the country there is no peace.
In Bohong (80km apart from Bouar), a parish which belongs to our diocese, the shooting and the pillaged forces the priests and religious sisters to leave the place. One of the priests, Fr Michel went 80 km on foot. In Beboura (about 150 km apart from Bozoum) also many people were killed. The first displaced are now arriving to Bozoum.
Here in Bozoum this week we were able to start to provide relief supplies to the refugees. In spite of a bridge which was blocked, we have received significant supplies of food stuff […]
In March 2013, school abruptly came to an end for thousands of children when Seleka rebels seized power. Armed troops ransacked government buildings, hospitals and schools. Teachers fled to the capital; pupils and their families hid in the fields.
In co-operation with Unicef, Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands) has set up a 6-month program to re-open schools. Apart from organising transport for the teachers we will also make sure salaries are paid again. New books and materials provided by Unicef will be distributed and parents will be encouraged to send their children back to school.
Cordaid’s Piet van Gils is in Bangui to arrange the transport of the teachers. “It took quite some effort to get everyone registered on time, to provide them with money for the trip and to get them on to a truck. It will take some of the teachers a week to reach their villages. Once they get there […]
By Clotaire Mbao Ben-Seb, Communications Officer Caritas Central Africa Residents of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, have been living through days of a deafening concert of gunfire: Kalashnikovs are the tenors, submachine guns are the sopranos and the mortars and rockets are the bass. People stayed awake hiding under the Mango trees until three in the morning to avoid being hit. There have been several deaths and homes have been ransacked. At a community hospital in Bangui, they have 14 patients with gunshot wounds. Six needed surgery. One of them, the son of former President Kolingba, received a bullet that went through his chest and will need specialist care. At the another clinic, the Friendship Hospital, five patients were transferred to trauma care. Over 200 people filled the hallways and hide beneath the Mango trees in the grounds in search of safety. Bodies are being found in homes. […]
Fr Aurélio Gazzera is the local diocesan Caritas director in Bouar in Northern Central African Republic. Rebel Seleka forces seized power in CAR in March, plunging the country into anarchy. The United Nations said last week the country was on the brink of collapse and the crisis was threatening to spread beyond its borders. Caritas Internationalis has launched an international appeal for over €700,000 to support its work for peace and reconciliation, help people meet their immediate needs and re-establish their livelihoods as well as offer basic health services in nine dioceses.Fr Gazzera’s eye-witness accounts have spoken of villages being abandoned as people flee the violence. By Fr Aurélio Gazzera There are makeshift road blocks around Bohong, manned by Seleka fighters. The armed men charge you 1000 CAR francs to enter or leave the town if you’re on a bike, while its 200 CAR francs if you’re on foot. If […]
By Fr.Aurelio Gazzera in Bozoum, Central African Republic
Francais and Espanol
These days we received a great gift: The visit of the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonné Nzapalainga. He is one of the few people in the country who raise their voices against injustice and violence. He is the president of the Episcopal Conference and of Caritas. He brought us the solidarity of the Church and gave us great encouragement. He came here to examine the situation of the 2,400 displaced people who abandoned their villages along the Bozoum-Bossangoa road to get to Bouzom.
On Saturday we started with a meeting with the delegates of the eight villages, who presented their situation and their needs. Their most urgent need is peace and security. But then also healthcare, food, shelter… At 10 AM we met with one of the few officials who remained in the city. However, he does not have any power, as everything […]
Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jongeli State has forced an estimated 100,000 people from their homes into the bush. The recent clashes include inter-communal violence between Lou Nuer and Murle people.
Those who have fled the fighting and are living in the wilderness have no food, clean water or healthcare. Aid agencies are struggling to reach them due to the fighting and heavy rains that make the roads inaccessible.
Caritas is working with the UN’s WFP to distribute food to those displaced and effected by the violence in the Pibor area in Jonglei. Caritas South Sudan has been mobilising diocesan staff and parish volunteers to support the humanitarian response in Jongeli State.
Caritas member Catholic Relief Services is also supporting the intervention.
Caritas South Sudan said, “A big thank you to the parish volunteers from Archdiocese of Juba and the Dioceses of Tombura-Yambio and Wau. In an act of true solidarity, they are travelling to […]
By Clotaire Mbao Ben-Seb, Communications Officer Caritas Central Africa
The people of Central African Republic continue to live through a terrifying ordeal.
Calm has returned to the capital Bangui, but in the interior of the country, human rights abuses are continuing according to local staff.
Fr Aurélio Gazzera is the local diocesan Caritas director in Bouar in northern CAR.
He says that there has been violence, robbery and killings against the local people from 25 July. People are experiencing the worst conditions of their lives.
Fr Gazzera was part of a fact finding mission to Ouhman-Bac on Sunday 27 July. He says there are reports of between 30 to 50 bodies thrown into the river Ouham. This has caused people to flee from the area. Caritas is seeking to find out further confirmation around the incident.
Fr Gazzera says that there is a lack of food, medicine, sleeping mats and tarpaulins for people as the rainy […]