Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bangui, recently visited a camp where former members of the Seleka rebel militia, who are predominately Muslim, are housed, reports CISA.
“Here in this camp there are men, women and children living. For me, as a man of God, they are children of God whom he has created in his image and to whom I am obliged to reach out,” Archbishop Nzapailanga said during his visit.
The visit to displaced Muslims is part of a continued effort by the Catholic Church in the Central African Republic to work for peace and reconciliation within the country, reported CNA.
During his visit Archbishop Nzapalainga was accompanied by representatives of Catholic aid agencies, who brought food and hygiene articles into the camp as well as medical aid.
The archbishop spoke with the former rebels and listened to their needs appealed to them not to resort to arms again. The ex-Seleka fighters are worried about their reintegration into society and expressed uncertainty about the future of their children.
Archbishop Nzapailanga went on to explain that he could not remain inactive in the face of the misery in the camp and called on all the Christians of the Catholic Church to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters.
“For when we go to church we receive the power of God to help our brothers and sisters in need,” he said adding. “Even if a genuine and lasting peace is a gift of Christ, nonetheless it depends on each one of us also.”
The Archbishop further called upon the government and the international community, “to establish security for all its citizens, to fight against impunity, restore the authority of the state and so strengthen the social cohesion, dialogue and peace.”
According to the UN, more than 852,000 people are still displaced thousands have been killed since violence began in March last year when mainly Muslim rebels seized power.
The majority Christian state then descended into ethno-religious warfare.