February 1, 2013

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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