June 4, 2013

A cry for peace for Central African Republic

By |4 June 2013|

Read in French By Clotaire Mbao Ben Seba, Bangui If you think a smile is stronger than a weapon If you believe in the power of an offered hand, If you can look at the other with a touch of love If you prefer to know the hope to suspicion, If for you the other is primarily a brother, If you believe that peace is possible, Then peace will come. A hymn for peace sung by students of St. Theresa School in Bangui at a special Mass for reconciliation. “If we speak, write and cry loud enough, someone may stop, listen and do something,” said Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, Caritas director in the diocese of Bouar in the Central African Republic. But he doubts that help will come to a country with chronically instability and little strategic value. Conflict, human rights abuses and lawlessness has been rampant there since the rebel […]

May 23, 2013

Central Africa Republic slides into chaos

By |23 May 2013|

Cases of arbitrary killings, robberies, looting and abductions have been reported throughout Central African Republic since Seleka rebel forces seized power in March.
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    ‘Everything has been destroyed and nearly everyone has been robbed’ – Central Africa Republic

‘Everything has been destroyed and nearly everyone has been robbed’ – Central Africa Republic

By |2 May 2013|

Reports coming out of Bangui paint a brutal picture of fear and violence with no end in sight. No one feels safe and help and comfort are hard to come by as the violence persists.

February 19, 2013

  • Supporters of Central African Republic President Francois Bozize demonstrate at the airport in Bangui December 30, 2012.

Credits: REUTERS/Luc Gnago courtesy of AlertNet.org
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    Central African Republic tired of “useless suffering” at hands of rebels, say bishops

Central African Republic tired of “useless suffering” at hands of rebels, say bishops

By |19 February 2013|

Bishops from Central African Republic (CAR) have made a desperate plea to the international community and their government to help communities who are being terrorised by rebels. The country has been unstable since Seleka, a coalition of five separate rebel groups started to advance from the north in early December 2012. They have been accused of human rights abuses, including rape as a weapon of war. Communities who have been “taken hostage” by rebels have been cut off from any help and aid agencies have limited activity. “A large part of regions in CAR is occupied by the SELEKA coalition,” said the bishops in a four-page message. “People in these areas are hostages, they live in fear, they flee into the bush and they abandon their fields. The sick are without care, hospitals are closed or have been completely destroyed and schools have been pillaged.” Ten bishops signed the message, including Archbishop [...]

Caritas appeal following Central African Republic unrest

By |1 February 2013|

Caritas is launching an appeal for funds to help communities in the Central African Republic who are still reeling from attacks on towns and communities by rebels. The rebel forces started to advance in northeastern CAR in December 2012 and nearly brought about the fall of the capital Bangui. A ceasefire was agreed in January but the situation remains precarious. The UN has condemned the use of child soldiers, rape, sexual slavery and the killing and maiming of civilians in the country. The threat of violence has meant that many people have left their homes. Meanwhile, some staff working for CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) in Bangui were evacuated earlier this month. “Once more people of the Central African Republic, women, children and young people in particular, have found themselves facing distress, famine and cut off from access to healthcare and hygiene facilities,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, president of Caritas Central African Republic. Caritas is [...]

January 31, 2013

God of Wonders

By |31 January 2013|

By CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) staff Rebel attacks in the Central African Republic have left communities terrified. The violence got so bad in early January that some aid agencies evacuated employees. On January 17, a boat called “God of Wonders” docked in the capital, Bangui. Among its passengers were some Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands) employees who could not be evacuated by air earlier on. It was necessary to evacuate the Cordaid employees because of the rebel army, which in December 2012 had launched an offensive to depose the president. By the beginning of January it looked as if the rebels’ advance couldn’t be contained and a large part of the country was already in their hands. Recent negotiations between the rebels and the government has resulted in a new peace agreement. In the meantime, however, a large proportion of the population had fled from the violence. It was also necessary to evacuate Cordaid employees, partially [...]

Bishops call for ceasefire in the Central African Republic

By |11 January 2013|

Bishops in the Central African Republic (CAR) have called for a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor after a month-long revolt by rebels. The bishops’ voices join that of Pope Benedict, who urged for a return to stability in the country earlier this week. Caritas staff on the ground report pillaging and occupied villages, while many people have been displaced by fighting in central and northern CAR. Over a hundred people are reported to have been killed. Fr Elysée Guedjandé, secretary general of Caritas CAR, said, “People are sleeping with host families or in churches or parish houses. Their most urgent needs include food, bedding, mosquito nets and anti-malarial medicine.” While people were attending midnight mass in Kaga Bandoro on Christmas Eve armed men came and ransacked public buildings and destroyed the archives before occupying the town. Bishop Albert Vanbuel of Kaga Bandoro says, “The situation risks getting worse. The rebels [...]

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