2014-10-25 15:36:00

Rebels kidnap a Polish Catholic Priest in CAR

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has carried a story about the latest kidnapping of a Catholic priest in the Central African Republic (CAR). The priest is said to have been kidnapped in Baboua, 550km north-west of the capital city of Bangui, on 12 October.

 Fr Mateusz Dziedzic was kidnapped by eight men from the rebel group Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) and is reportedly being treated well. The group has demanded the release of their leader Abdolaye Miskine, who was imprisoned in Cameroon in September 2013.

The FDPC was part of the Seleka alliance that took control of the Central African Republic in a coup in March 2013. After a dispute with Seleka leaders, FDPC’s leader Abdolaye Miskine left CAR and moved to Cameroon, where he was arrested. On 12 May, United States President Barak Obama announced sanctions against those who were identified as threatening the peace, security or stability of the Central African Republic, including Miskine.

 CSW says according to Reuters news agency, the FDPC, which also refers to itself as People of Miskine, has kidnapped at least 12 people in CAR and eight in Cameroon. It is also reported that the group attempted to kidnap a second missionary named Leszek Zielinski, but gave up after negotiations.

 The kidnapping of Fr Dziedic is not the first incident targeting the clergy. On 16 April, the Bishop of Bossangoa, Monsignor Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia, was kidnapped along with three Catholic clergymen by Seleka militants. The clergymen were eventually released near the Chadian border after the intervention of the international community.

 The kidnapping of Fr Dziedzic comes after a week of violence in Bangui, in which at least 12 people, including two UN peacekeepers, were killed, and property belonging to Christians was destroyed. Seleka and anti-Balaka leaders have called for the resignation of the transitional President and Prime Minister, as well as the reinstatement of members of their groups to political positions.

The UN Peacekeeping force took over the security mission in CAR in accordance with UNSC resolution 2149; however the peacekeeping mission has yet to reach full deployment.

source: CSW 

(e-mail: engafrica@vatiradio.va)

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