New out from Caritas International and Vatican Radio is a broad-ranging interview conversation with Msgr Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui and Caritas Central African President. In the February 18 discussion, the Archbishop strongly condemns the rising tide of violence:
One group has decided to take revenge. They’re mainly young people. They have seen their villages burnt down and plundered. They have seen killings, acts of violence and human rights abuses by Seleka.
When I met these young people they talk about fighting Seleka. It’s obvious this isn’t what’s happening on the ground. Now these youngsters are striking Muslim communities. They know Muslims aren’t Seleka and Seleka aren’t Muslims. Similarly we have always said Christians aren’t Antibalaka and Antibalaka aren’t Christian. If people are going after Muslims, it’s for plunder, revenge and hatred.
These are human feelings. But behind what’s happening are “shady politicians” who are pulling the strings. Some people have claimed to be the godfathers of these groups.
Under no circumstances has any priest or pastor spoken out in favour of directing or supporting this ideology. I roundly condemn the acts of violence. I also condemn the confusion surrounding this situation. Imams, pastors and I speak the same language. We’ve made a diagnosis from the outset. Today, the religous issue continues to come into play, but we refuse to be led down this path.