By Eva-Maria Kolmann, ACN International
Adapted by, Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
The Prior of the Carmelite Monastery in Bangui, Father Federico Trinchero, calls for a quick resolution of the conflict in the Central African Republic.
Talking to the international Catholic pastoral charity “Aid to the Church in Need” he said: “The people of the Central African Republic are awaiting a truly political solution. But such a solution will only yield a positive result if it does not involve any compromises with anyone who uses violence or propagates the spirit of vengeance.” The people were “tired and discouraged” and they no longer believed in promises, the Italian Carmelite Father explained. Foreign troops, he said, were not able to act effectively and often came too late.
“Reconciliation may take years”
The attack on the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in the capital Bangui on May 28, killing at least 18 people; that the fate of more than 40 abducted hostages remains uncertain, has proven that peace is “still a long way away.” The attack took place only a few kilometres from the Carmelite monastery. The situation around the monastery was relatively calm at the time, but the attack had again led to a growth in the number of refugees. More than 7000 refugees turned the site of the monastery into one of the largest refugee camps in the capital.
“We hope that the refugees will soon be able to return home, but there is no end is in sight.” Babies were even being in the monastery’s refectory, the first on December 30. At times there were up to 15,000 refugees on the monastery site.
“I’m afraid the process of reconciliation may take years. The country has undergone a very profound break. But I hope that it will be possible to mobilize the vital energies of the young people to enable them to take the future of the country into their own hands,” Trinchero said. “The Church is not looking on passively, but is continuing with its mission. Nevertheless this may trouble many of those who do not love peace.”