Vatican Appeals for Peace in Central African Republic

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2002 ( The Vatican appealed to the international community for the pacification of the Central African Republic, and called on that nation’s people to give up the use of arms.

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Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said in a statement today that “informed about the serious events being endured by the peoples of the Central African Republic, the State Secretariat hopes that the inhabitants will be able to give up the use of force, which only leads to ruin.” It urges them, instead, to “respect the constitutional order.”

The Vatican also encouraged “the international community to continue with its work in favor of pacification, and the local Church to persevere in its meritorious action for fraternal and peaceful coexistence.”

John Paul II made an appeal June 6, calling for an end to the civil war that is bleeding that country.

Neighborhoods of the republic’s capital, Bangui, have become battlefields between the government forces and the rebels led by the former Chief of General Staff, General Francois Bozize, who are trying to oust President Ange-Felix Patasse.

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