Militias run rampant throughout the Central African Republic. Massacre reports went from rare to commonplace this year in the struggle for control of this strategic African nation.
Finding a peaceful resolution won’t be easy, explains Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission. “You’ve got Islamic/Christianity conflict, which would represent the two main groups; you’ve got historical tensions that goes back decades; you’ve got people group or ethnic, specific aspects going on in there; and then you’ve got this overarching issue of corruption. So when you bring all those things together, you have got a mess.”
In pursuit of justice
In the past, the wheels of justice moved slowly. However, in the capital city of Bangui, workers are in the process of overhauling a courthouse. It signals the launch of the Special Criminal Court (SCC), created to deal with war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Trials should begin in 2021.
It also indicates a shift in CAR. People now acknowledge the trauma that changed the face of the nation. “Every two seconds, someone in the world is newly displaced because of war, violence or persecution, and the Central African Republic is at Ground Zero in many ways, especially on the continent of Africa,” Kelley says.
That displacement added to the lack of infrastructure and stability makes it tough for churches to connect. “Traditionally the Church has said, ‘Let’s wait for things to stabilize and settle and get more peaceful so that we can go in and begin dealing with the wounds and the trauma that people are dealing with.’” The problem is, “What we’re realizing is that you may wait ten years, you may wait 20 years for that stability if it ever does come.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for a peace that enables national resources to be developed for stability.
- Pray for availability of more oral Christian materials for the largely illiterate population.
- Pray for fully funded Christian education for nationals called to minister to their people.