AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. - The Muslim Christian population calls for peace and justice

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - While violence continues in the Central African Republic, in particular in Bangui (see Fides 7/5/2018) and the peace process is inevitably interrupted, most people want only justice and peace: "The situation is really complex - says to Agenzia Fides a local priest who asks for anonymity - the expectations and needs of people are enormous. As a Church, we would like to continue to promote the pastoral care of reconciliation and reconstruction by integrating mission, faith and life; dialogue, reconciliation and coexistence; reconstruction, social promotion and human development. Let us focus on the deepening of the Christian faith, justice, interreligious dialogue, ecumenism and human development. The local Church is committed to rebuilding bridges among people, rebuilding trust, awakening civic awareness towards religious freedom, respect for life, for the sense of the State, the common good and the general interest".
Despite the strong presence of the Islamic community in the country, introduced in 1870 by isolated Islamic traders from neighboring countries in the North and East (Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sudan) there are testimonies of interreligious collaboration between Christians and Muslims that the RCA can offer to the world. Many remember Pope Francis's meeting with the Islamic community in the Central Mosque in Bangui on November 30, 2015.
At the time, the Holy Father said: "In these dramatic times, Christian and Muslim leaders have sought to rise to the challenges of the moment. They have played an important role in re-establishing harmony and fraternity among all".
This search for peace takes place within the framework of the 'Platform of Religious Confessions of Central Africa' (PCRC) which brings together Christians and Muslims to help improve the socio-political and cultural environment in the CAR, invoking national cohesion and peace.
With the UN mandate, positive results have been guaranteed so far, such as the security for the visit of the Holy Father in November 2015, the interposition between the belligerents, facilitation of dialogue, regular consultation with the government. The peace process in the Central African Republic involves the interaction of several elements: the elections, the UN mission (MINUSCA, Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission), the rehabilitation of the Central African armed forces, the ceasefire agreements, the establishment of the special Criminal Court, the National Plan for the Recovery and Construction of Peace. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 15/5/2018)