UN Forces accused of not protecting civilians in Central Africa

Blue Berets in Central Africa accused of abdicating their mandate

Central African Bishops accused contingents of the UN Peace Keeping Force, known as the Blue Berets, with not doing their duties of protecting iin Central Africa.

At the end of a plenary meeting of the Central African Bishops, in a statement reported by FIDES news agency, the Catholic Bishops paid tribute to those contingents of the Blue Berets that ensure the protection of civilians.

“However, we deplore the duplicity of some contingents that leave the situation deteriorate under their eyes that take advantage of the situation, particularly the Moroccans in the east, the Pakistanis in Batangafo and the Mauritanians in Alindao. Such behaviour only aggravates the already critical situation of the Country.”

The Bishops speak of a dramatic condition of the Country: “It is sad to note that beyond the capital and some cities, the State has a merely formal presence. Civil and military functions, even in areas where there are no armed groups, have no means to operate and their number is symbolic.”

Vast areas of Central Africa are in the hands of armed groups who “repeatedly commit inhumane violence and serious human rights violations: rackets, arbitrary arrests, kidnapping, torture.”

The Bishops wondered why there is massive concentration of armed groups in the east of the Country and why the populations of some areas have been forced to sign a document stating that they refuse the presence of the Central African armed forces.

Another problem decried by the African Bishops is the  instability in areas under the control of armed groups. The arrival of shepherds from across the border creates conflicts with farmers, while the porosity of the borders facilitates arms trafficking and the arrival of mercenaries, in particular from Chad, Sudan, Cameroon, Niger, and Uganda.

“We ask the governments of these countries to show humanity by helping the Central African Republic to emerge from anarchy for the good of all. In fact, a destabilized Country is an international problem,” pleaded the Bishops.

According to FIDES, the Church, which has seen several of its priests and faithful killed, reaffirmed its commitment to peace and continues to bring the Light of Christ the Saviour of the World.

“Christ came to liberate man not only from his sins but also from the consequences of sin that crush him. As Christians, Christ exhorts us to participate in his mission of the total liberation of man, beginning with the poorest and most marginalized,” concluded the Bishop’s statement.