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    Central African Republic Church leaders call for immediate ceasefire

Central African Republic Church leaders call for immediate ceasefire

By |5 December 2013|

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.

Central African Republic: a photographers view

By |26 November 2013|

Even from the air, the situation looks scary. The plane circles the deserted town, not a soul in sight. As the descent begins, hundreds of white and blue spots can be made out; they're the canvases of the makeshift tents of the displaced.
  • Credit: Matthie Alexandre/Caritas
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    Hunger on the horizon as farmers in Central African Republic too scared to plant crops

Hunger on the horizon as farmers in Central African Republic too scared to plant crops

By |26 November 2013|

“I was lucky,” said Thierry Diacro Lzila, a farmer in Ndangala, a village 40 km outside of the Central African Republic capital, Bangui. “I was in the church when the fighters arrived to search our homes. I was able to hide my tools.”
  • Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga (R), addresses the president of Muslim Community, Imam Omar Kobine Layama (L) and Protestant Reverend Nicolas Gueret Koyama (C) on November 8, 2013 in Bangui. Credit: Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas
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    Peace in Central African Republic: an archbishop, an imam and a pastor join forces

Peace in Central African Republic: an archbishop, an imam and a pastor join forces

By |26 November 2013|

Religious leaders have come together to try to bring peace in the Central African Republic. They face enormous challenges but have faith they can succeed.

Deadly silence over Central African Republic

By |26 November 2013|

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

Don’t abandon Central African Republic

By |26 November 2013|

Caritas has been able to provide some help in the form of blankets, mats and tools and distribute UN food aid. But the insecurity means it’s difficult to get aid through.

Burned out, empty villages in Central African Republic

By |26 November 2013|

Caritas is supporting the Catholic Church in the Central African Republic’s call for a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed under Chapter VII powers to maintain peace.
  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) stand next to the Cathedral on November 9, 2013 in Bossangoa, 380 km north of Bangui. 41.000 IDP’s took shelter near the Cathedral following the mass exactions of September 8, 2013. Chaos followed the ouster of Francois Bozize earlier this year 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. PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE
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    Bossangoa: a symbol of pain and suffering in Central African Republic

Bossangoa: a symbol of pain and suffering in Central African Republic

By |26 November 2013|

Caritas and the Church have been working hard to provide aid to the compound in Bossangoa, including blankets and food. But the insecurity and disorder makes that very difficult. Needs are acute and growing.

Reflections from Central African Republic

By |15 November 2013|

While the crisis is only just beginning to register in the consciousness of the international community, for months now I’ve been reading reports from Caritas CAR, detailing the horrors faced by members of their parishes.

Central African Republic: a lost generation

By |30 October 2013|

Central African Republic has descended into anarchy after rebels seized power in March. The situation has recently deteriorated with popular militias being formed to defend the local population against the rebels,

A week is a long time in Central African Republic

By |27 September 2013|

Despite a decision to demobilize Seleka, its fighters keep causing trouble. In Bossangoa this week there have been more clashes and houses burnt down.

Standing up for the people in Central African Republic

By |18 September 2013|

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 […]

Giving is receiving in Central African Republic

By |6 September 2013|

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 […]

Back to school in Central African Republic

By |30 August 2013|

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 […]

Fighters run amok in Central African Republic capital

By |23 August 2013|

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. […]

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