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Sunday, February 16, 2014

And the fight goes on....

Antibalaka à Bozoum

As the wind keeps on blowing (here they call it Harmattan), this country is still shaken by violence: a neighborhood against another, new rebels against old ones....We are trying our best to carry on, but nothing here is certain! We witness the civil war's folly taking over, all aorund here in Bozoum, in Bouar, Bocaranga, Ngaundaye....and dreams od peace and progress are moving away. But we mustn't despair. there are also few good news. Hyppolite,they kid form Bozoum, who is paralized waist-down is finally in Italy and had his main surgery on Wedesday and he's doing ok! so a big thanks is in order to all the medical staff, the surgeons and to Maurizio, Marta and Alessandra and all who contributed to make this dream possible!

Saturday, the 8th of February 2014
Again some shootings last night. This mornning we had a meeting with few authorities and some Antibalakas. We all said: ENOUGH! we managed to make the Selekas leave, all the Muslims are gone...what more do you want? We did chastised them quite a lot. we tried our best to make them understand it's about time they are to stop shooting, stealing, ransacking, hurting and killing. all this violence is only but preventing any progress whatsoever!
We demanded to stop shooting, no more weapons in the city, no more military uniforms....
since this morning it's ok. let's hope for the best! I also received a call from Chad. one of the Muslims from Bozoum who left with the convoy called in to let me know they arrived safe and sound and to thank me. I was happy to know they are fine. at 10.30 pm i also got the last news for today: Hyppolite is in Bologna airport!

Sunday, the 9th of February 2014
Few shootings during the day and rather quie day. I celebrated the Masses in purple, no Glorias and very little songs today. I said they were Penitential ones, to ask for forgiveness for our sins,  for not only letting the Muslims go but for especially making an happy event out of it, and for some to take advantage to hurt people and steal....

Monday, the 10th of February 2014
Meeting with those Antibalakas who occupied the Gendarmery. Eventually they moved out....only to occupy another building!

Tuesday and Wednesday, 11th and 12th of February 2014
Along with a doctor and an MSF representative we set off at 6 am towards Bocaranga, Ndim and Ngaudaye. We arrived at 4 pm after 210 km of disastrous roads. We came across many people holding homemade weapons, but we encountered no bars on the way (we found 3 on our way back home) We know there are Baba Laddé rebels in Bang, on the Cameron's borders and that Antibalakas are trying to hunt them down, unsuccesfully so far.  On that same Tuesday those rebels burned down villages between Bang and Ngaudaye, the risk for an attack is very high indeed. Especially because, despite our pleads, no army has come to protect the population. Not the French Sangaris, not Cameroonian MISCA.
We found villages almost deserted. In Ngaudaye there are few houses burned and the hospital is completely empty....there are no patients in there. No doctors, no medicines...
There are 4 Capuchins: two from CAR, one Italian, one Polish, two nuns and a laic nun. They're all still in shock, after the Selekas left their mark passing by on the 21st of January they have been threatened and robbed of everything one can imagine. Father Roland was also kidnapped for few hours. Any activity here is suspended (school, women's center, hospital)...and the future is very dark indeed.
There is no progress at all. Military forces as the MISCA are far from effective: when the Selekas was leaving the country to go back to Chad they were left unattended, anyone can plainly see the disaster they left behind, a trail of ransacks, fires, murders and robberies. On the other hand, few days afterward they did escort them, but towards Paua, and Kaga Bandoro, an area which the Selekas wanted to occupy in order to divide the country between themselves....
On our way back we stopped in Nzakoun, 14 km far from Ngaudaye. Here the Selekas killed 22 people, of which 14 women, in their own houses. they launched a small missile on the medical centre and now it's totally destroyed.

How long will we have to endure this folly?

Thursday the 13th of February 2014
Finally the MISCAs have arrived here in Bozoum. Meeting at 8 pm as usual, there's also a guy from a local force called FACA. Although they are regulated we have few doubts. he said he was here as a mission, but he had no ID nor mission papers.
We met the MISCAs and of course presented them with all our concerns on the situation in town, as the Antibalakas still carry weapons around.
I heard from Ngaudaye, MISCAs have arrived also in the morning and met the Antibalakas and other rebels from the APRD and hired them on to attack Bang, the border's village where Baba Ladde's are, fully armed. Once they got there the rebels fled to the forest and MISCAs left only Antibalakas over there....
In the end...the border is in the Antibalakas' hands, the rebels in the forest. The future? is completely in the dark. 
If MISCAs do not stay here, only a disaster is forseeable for the entire border area and its villages.
In bozoum, i met with public school staff and students at 4pm in order to see if it's possible to resume activities. They had to shut down last november, the 11th and then again on the 4th of December. the High school has been completely stripped to its bones (they stole doors, windows, boards and books). we asked everyone to look for the stolen material and see if we can resume school's activities on Monday.... We shall see!

Antibalaka à Bozoum... avec des toles volées
Antibalaka con armi e bagagli (lamiere rubate)


Boutques pillées en décembre par la Seleka à Ngutere
Negozi saccheggiati dalla Seleka a Ngutere

Ngaundaye: Pères Capucins et Soeurs polonaises à la prière du matin
Ngaundaye: i padri cappuccini e le suore polacche alla preghiera del mattino

le poste de santé de Hanzoung détruit par les Seleka le 4 février
il dispensario di Hanzoung distrutto dalla Seleka il 4 febbraio

Le poste de santé de Hanzoung
il dispensario di Hanzoung

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