Following his recent kidnapping and subsequent release, the bishop of Bossangoa, Rt Rev Nestor Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia, SMA, has called on the International Forces including the Sangaris (French) and the MISCA (African led mission) to immediately apply the UN resolutions on disarmament in the Central African Republic.
“The instability caused by the violence has worked in Chadian interests, the armed groups’ interests, and in the interests of all those who covet our mineral resources“, according to the bishop, with Muslims and Christians being “used like puppets to perpetuate the chaos which prevents our prized commodities from leaving for Asian markets.The Central African Republic relies on the international community for its protection and its security as its army is under an embargo. Yet, one might question the strategy adopted by the international troops in bringing about effective disarmament or eventual peace. The country is still in turmoil and its commodities cannot be adequately exported.”
Our picture shows Boubou village which was destroyed by mercenraies who have come to steal the wealth of the CAR people.
The bishop, who at one point was sheltering over 40,000 displaced persons in his compound, highlighted the fact that when the Seleka rebels took over in Bangui in March 2013, they were mainly comprised of Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries. He insists that the conflict was caused for political and economic reasons, not religious ones.
“As hatred between Central African Muslims and Christians festers even further with each atrocity, I call on France to take stronger action in applying the UN resolutions and on the UN Security Council to hasten the deployment of peace keepers, as each passing day the death toll of innocent victims rises.”
Asked if, with this latest statement, he feared again for his life after his recent kidnapping and the killing of one of his priests by Seleka rebels, the bishop said the world would see the full extent of “outside corrupting influences” in CAR should he be targeted again.
The bishop (pictured left during a visit to SMA Cork in 2012) also noted that the crisis has sparked a risk of partition of the country between the Muslims in the North-East and the Christians in the South-West, with concerns around this issue increasing following a recent statement made by some of the rebels from the Seleka coalition. The bishop concluded that caution should be exercised in enforcing the UN resolutions in regard to the integrity of the country.