Insecurity reigns in the country, fighting among rebel groups continues even in the capital Bangui.
Recently, the police, assisted by the forces of Minusca (the UN mission in Central Africa) clashed with groups of militiamen who control PK5, the neighbourhood of the capital where the Muslim community lives. Former fighters who have become bandits are harassing traders and local inhabitants, imposing bribes on any form of activity.
The most worrying situation is that of the peripheral provinces. “Since the dissolution of the Seleka movement and the anti-Balaka movement (born in opposition to Seleka) – observes Jesuit father Barwendé Médard Sané, director of the Catholic University Centre in the capital – at least 14 factions have emerged that continuously clash with each other for the control of the territory and mineral and natural resources (gold, uranium, timber). This creates a climate of general insecurity that has serious consequences on the civilian population”.
The government led by President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, born after the 2015 elections, works for national reconciliation, the disarming of armed groups and the return to the rule of law. “In these three years – the Jesuit continues – the government has worked hard to pacify the country. It has met many difficulties. Fortunately, the international community supports it: the United Nations still has more than 13 thousand men in the country”.
Even the Catholic Church is very active. Since 2013, when the civil war broke out, dioceses, parishes, religious communities have welcomed and helped thousands of refugees. They have offered them a safe place, food, clothes, medical and psychological assistance.
“The Catholic community is doing its best. Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapailinga, Archbishop of Bangui, Muslim Imam Umar Kobine, and Protestant Pastor Nicolas Nguérekoyame have created a common platform for sensitiSing communities to peace and coexistence. We believe that the country can regain its stability”.