Total Pageviews

Saturday, September 7, 2013



Wednesday morning we set off to Bouar 4.30 am (250) km. in the afternoon we met up with caritas, justice and peace because of a big issue: since the 16th of August in Bohong ther have been riots, causing at least 30 deaths, destruction of 2000 housings, burnt to prevent from people to stay there. We heard Abbé Michel's recounting whom, as the nuns, had to flee. Some of the people escaped to Bouar some others stayed in the fields around Bohong,

Later on also arrived the archbishop of Bangui, president of the episcopal conference and of caritas. His presence here is very important, for support and morale, but also to expose what's happening 

Thursday morning at 6am 20 km far from Bohong the red line begins: hundreds of houses are burning, then ndakaya, finally Bohong. As I wait for the rest of the delegation i take a look around. There are still skeletons and skulls lying there, abandoned.....

As the archbishop arrived more people joined. We gathered in the church with Protestants ( the hold a small hospital here, wich was just looted) the small church is crowded, we celebrated a very partaken mass.

Right after that we heard the brave people telling their story speak, it's very touching to listen to women talk about loosing their husbands, to hear of fathers loosing their sons. There is sorrow, but no anger. Someone said "aren't we all centrafrican?" Another said "we're as slaves"

Thousands of houses burnt to the ground, everything they had is gone.....what's to be done???
What is really worrying is the deep damage  Created between the Muslims and the rest. No Muslim home has been burnt. And what's worse is some locals indicated to the rebels which was whom, where was the hospital ans the farmacy cabinet....

We'll need a lot of time to re build but much more to recreate a serene coexistence
After the meeting I stayed in the church with the village chiefs to organize data collection for burnt homes and victims, so we can quickly act. The archbishop and the rest went to the city council.
I joined them afterwards when the meeting had already started. So many people. On my arrival I heard them speak in Arabic and I said (so they could hear me) are we in central Africa or what? The one talking was the rebels chief, the translator sais "here everything is fine, we haven't done anything, haven't hurt anyone, nothing happened"
The mayor said they had to go back home, that what's done is the vicar, the abbé mirek answered "go back where? Everything is burnt to the ground!" And the people clapped hard.
After the meeting we went to check on the Lutheran hospital,  here they hold the maternity wing. Here too, the rebels broke and entered while shooting (in an hospital!) and stole meds, microscope, solar panels, bike, and a car's engine....
We came back our way with deep sorrow. How many Bohong are there? How many villages have been abused? When will all this be over?

No comments:

Post a Comment