AFRICA/IVORY COAST - “Avoid us another war!”: The Bishops' cry of alarm as the tension rises in view of the 2020 vote

Monday, 24 June 2019 bishops   peace  

Yamoussoukro (Agenzia Fides) - "Among the population there is a widespread climate of fear" denounce the Bishops of Ivory Coast in their message published at the end of their 113th Plenary Assembly in Agboville.
"In fact, it must be recognized that, as the 2020 elections approach, there is a climate of widespread fear among the population; fear linked to the reality of recurrent inter-community conflicts, problems of insecurity, land tenure, illegal occupation of forests, illegal gold mines and problems linked to Ivorian identity", says the document sent to Agenzia Fides.
Addressing the faithful, the Bishops affirm: "we are with you in deploring the desolate show of recent times, we also want to exorcise the old demons of hatred and division with you all".
"We take this opportunity to express our spiritual closeness and our compassion for families who have lost loved ones and their property. And to all the actors of socio-political life, we are launching this heartfelt cry, which is also that of the population: avoid us another war", the Bishops say. "After more than two decades of serious crises that have sadly marked the history of the Ivory Coast, the responsibility of all those who hold authority - whatever their level - is to do everything possible for reconciliation and social cohesion, to prevent crises and consolidate peace".
"In this regard, we, Archbishops and Bishops of the Ivory Coast, ask the government to continue and complete the disarmament process, because weapons continue to circulate in our Country and it is no secret to anyone. In fact, in any inter-community conflict, weapons and weapons of war are regularly and professionally used. In the face of this state of affairs, once again, and in the name of the right to life, we ask you to avoid us another war!". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2019)