CAR Archbishop: Stop the Massacres, Take Quick Action

Calls on PM, Politicians to End Bloodshed, Displacement in Central African Republic

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The archbishop of the capital of the Central African Republic has decried the ongoing massacre in the nation and has urged politicians to “stop the suffering of the people as soon as possible.”

In his homily this Saturday, Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, said he was speaking for “those who are displaced,” “fleeing the ongoing violence” and “living in difficult conditions,” and called on “the leaders of the country to take quick decisions to stop the suffering of the population in Bangui and elsewhere in the country,” reported Fides Monday.

Present at the Mass was the nation’s new Prime Minister, Mahamat Kamoun, a Muslim and former special advisor appointed by the country’s Christian President Samba Panza. Kamoun officially took office on Aug.14 and is hoped to lead a transitional government that seeks to implement a cease-fire signed in Brazzaville, Congo’s capital, July 23.

Despite this ceasefire signed between former Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka militias, the archbishop stressed the massacres of civilians continue.

The lastest one occurred in M’Brés comune in the north of the country, where, according to authorities, the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels killed at least 30 people, following a series of attacks on remote villages over the last week.

These rebels are former members of the Seleka alliance that ruled the country for 10 months. Religious and ethnic unrest began last year when their coalition toppled the government.

Claiming self defense, largely Christian communities formed “anti-Balaka” vigilante forces and carried out revenge attacks on Muslims.

As a result of this conflict, thousands of people have died and more than one million civilians have been displaced.

In January, the Seleka fighters left power, but have regrouped in the nation’s northern region, where in recent months they have been launching new attacks.

In the coming weeks before a U.N. peacekeeping mission is to arrive in mid-September, some witnesses in the region claim the rebels will assault other villages.

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ZENIT Staff

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