Sunday, February 16, 2014

Genocide looms in Central African Republic, archbishop warns

The leading Catholic prelate in the Central African Republic has said that he fears a campaign of genocide.

“If there is no one to hold back the hand of the devil here, he will achieve his goal,” Archbishop Dieudonnè Nzapalainga of Bangui told the international charity Aid to the Church in Need. 

He said that hatred had “entered the veins of the people,” and bloodshed has become widespread. 

The archbishop said that he had “seen things that make one think of a genocide,” similar to the bloodbaths that occurred in Rwanda. 

He reported visiting one village, where 250 Muslim residents had disappeared. 

In other towns, Christians have been the targets of militia groups. 

Archbishop Nzapalainga said that a UN peacekeeping force is needed to stave off widespread violence, because the country’s government has been unable to maintain the peace. 

The current peacekeeping force is too small to provide effective security, he said.