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29/06/2018 — Bangui / République Centrafricaine — Déclaration de la CICA sur la situation actuelle en Centrafrique (Communauté islamique de Centrafrique) : un message de paix et d’espérance pour l’ensemble du pays / Statement by CICA on the current situation in the Central African Republic: a message of peace and hope for the whole country

29/06/2018 — Bangui / République Centrafricaine — Déclaration de la CICA sur la situation actuelle en Centrafrique (Communauté islamique de Centrafrique) : un message de paix et d’espérance pour l’ensemble du pays / Statement by CICA on the current situation in the Central African Republic: a message of peace and hope for the whole country
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Statement by CICA on the current situation in the Central African Republic

29/06/2018 — Bangui

On the side­lines of the cer­e­mo­ny mark­ing the end of Ramadan 2018, Imam Omar Kobine Laya­ma, Pres­i­dent of the Islam­ic Com­mu­ni­ty of Cen­tral Africa (CICA) and leader of the Plat­form of Reli­gious Con­fes­sions of Cen­tral Africa (PCRC), spoke with jour­nal­ists at a press con­fer­ence held at the 7th arrondisse­ment town hall on 15 June.

He also made a state­ment on behalf of CICA on the ongo­ing cri­sis in the Cen­tral African Republic.
Here is the full statement.

The month of Ramadan this year, from the spir­i­tu­al point of view, has tak­en place from begin­ning to end, like all oth­er years, for it is a time when all Mus­lims through­out the world ful­fill their duty to the Lord by apply­ing verse 186 of chap­ter 2 of the Quran: “O ye who believe! Fast­ing is pre­scribed to you just as it was pre­scribed to those before you, per­haps you will fear God. And this year, once again, was devot­ed to the search for peace and for­give­ness. May Allah grant all our wish­es, may He dis­arm our hearts, may He make us vic­to­ri­ous over the ene­mies of peace.

But from a time point of view, we have been through a very dif­fi­cult peri­od because of the dete­ri­o­rat­ing secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion in some parts of the coun­try, as you know.

Since inde­pen­dence until the last cri­sis in 2012, the Cen­tral African Repub­lic has expe­ri­enced a peace­ful cohab­i­ta­tion between the dif­fer­ent clans, eth­nic groups, reli­gious denom­i­na­tions… Even if adven­ture mis­un­der­stand­ings and/or con­flicts of any kind appeared, but we always man­aged to find com­mon ground. This peace­ful cohab­i­ta­tion, despite pre­vi­ous polit­i­cal mis­un­der­stand­ings that had noth­ing to do with reli­gion, is being put to the test today after the Sele­ka coali­tion took pow­er on 24 March 2013. Since then, there has been a cli­mate of venge­ful hatred, mal­ice and ani­mos­i­ty between the daugh­ters and sons of the Cen­tral African Repub­lic through­out the coun­try, with all the con­se­quences that have followed.

The ele­ments of the Sele­ka have attacked every­one, Chris­t­ian or Mus­lim, through acts of loot­ing, rob­bery, rape, rob­bery, kid­nap­ping, tor­ture, mur­der and mass mur­der, leav­ing many inno­cent fam­i­lies bereaved and orphans, wid­ows and many oth­er vic­tims some­times aban­doned to their plight.

This sit­u­a­tion has pro­voked a series of reprisals through­out the coun­try with the advent in Decem­ber 2013 of mili­tias called antibal­a­ka who have also scoured every nook and cran­ny of the coun­try, fol­low­ing the forced aban­don­ment of pow­er by the coali­tion sadera.

They attacked Mus­lims with­out dis­tinc­tion, cre­at­ing total psy­chosis and chaos, result­ing in tens of thou­sands of peo­ple being mas­sa­cred and forced into exile, if not forced to move to live, either on sites iron­i­cal­ly called Ledger or in church­es or mosques.

All these armed groups (sadera coali­tion, antibal­a­ka and oth­ers), although sup­port­ed by politi­cians’ hid­den arms, have been likened to reli­gious move­ments: Mus­lims for some and Chris­tians for others.

Faced with this chal­lenge, the Islam­ic Com­mu­ni­ty of Cen­tral Africa (CICA), a cul­tur­al, socio-eco­nom­ic and human­i­tar­i­an orga­ni­za­tion respon­si­ble for guid­ing and spon­sor­ing all the activ­i­ties of Islam­ic asso­ci­a­tions, groups and non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions through­out the Cen­tral African ter­ri­to­ry, has adopt­ed a legal­is­tic posi­tion to strong­ly con­demn all forms of vio­lence and human rights vio­la­tions. This was reflect­ed in the posi­tions tak­en before, dur­ing and after the Sele­ka took pow­er. More­over, it is thanks to this fore­sight that CICA will con­tribute to the estab­lish­ment of the Plat­form of Cen­tral African Reli­gious Con­fes­sions (PCRC), long before the Sele­ka seized pow­er. The role played by CICA is very impor­tant among oth­er things its con­tri­bu­tions to deny­ing the con­fes­sion­al char­ac­ter of the cri­sis in Cen­tral Africa.

Mul­ti­fac­eted actions with the aim of restor­ing and strength­en­ing peace and liv­ing togeth­er have been orga­nized either by the Nation­al Exec­u­tive Office, which I have the hon­our to chair, or through the basic organs of CICA, includ­ing the Nation­al Islam­ic Coun­cil (CNI), which includes all the imams of Cen­tral Africa, the Nation­al Office of Mus­lim Women (BNFMCA), the Cen­tral African Islam­ic Youth (JICA), the Orga­ni­za­tion of Cen­tral African Mus­lim Exec­u­tives and Intel­lec­tu­als (OCICM), etc.

The lat­est events in the coun­try, par­tic­u­lar­ly at PK5, Notre-Dame-de-Fati­ma parish, Kaga Ban­doro, Bam­bari and else­where, are being orches­trat­ed by the same ene­mies of peace with the aim not only of com­plet­ing their plans to remove CAR from the map, but also, and above all, to have the reli­gious wear the hat of an alleged inter­faith war in the Cen­tral African Republic.

The Cen­tral African Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ty would like to make the fol­low­ing clarification:

  • The secu­ri­ty cri­sis that the coun­try is going through has affect­ed all Cen­tral Africans with­out excep­tion: Chris­tians, Mus­lims, non-believ­ers, includ­ing some recent examples:
  • In May 2017, the imam of Ban­gas­sou was assas­si­nat­ed by armed men with many inno­cent believ­ers at his side;
  • In Octo­ber 2017, the imam of Kem­be with many believ­ers was mas­sa­cred in a mosque;
  • In Feb­ru­ary 2017, a pas­tor was cold­ly mur­dered at PK5 in Bangui;
  • In March 2018, an abbot was mur­dered in Seko (Oua­ka) with believers;
  • In May 2018, an abbot was mur­dered with believ­ers in Notre-Dame-de-Fati­ma parish. And the list is very long, very dark.
  • Many places of wor­ship, both Mus­lim and Chris­t­ian, were either van­dal­ized, loot­ed, burned down or com­plete­ly destroyed. This deprives many Mus­lim and Chris­t­ian believ­ers of their duty to the Lord.
  • The regret expressed by CICA is the dis­crim­i­na­to­ry treat­ment of infor­ma­tion by the var­i­ous media. Yet most infor­ma­tion net­works in the coun­try are inde­pen­dent. Almost all Mus­lims are con­fused with some armed groups, yet most only have Mus­lim names.

 

Exam­ples:

  • If Mahamat com­mits an offence, des­ig­nate him as a Mahamat and not as a Mus­lim subject;
  • The inhab­i­tants of the PK5 in the 3rd dis­trict of the city of Ban­gui are not only Mus­lims for the media pro­fes­sion­al to call this dis­trict a “Mus­lim enclave”. How­ev­er, there are many Mus­lims liv­ing out­side the PK5 and many non-Mus­lims liv­ing there;
  • There are many Mus­lim vic­tims of armed gangs every­where, but very lit­tle is said about them.
    The CICA, on this occa­sion, reit­er­ates its call to armed groups on all sides to stop con­fus­ing the instru­men­tal­iza­tion of vio­lence by pos­ing as defend­ers of reli­gion, for there are only faith­ful ser­vants of God who can make claims in the name of religion.
  • CICA draws the atten­tion of com­pa­tri­ots from all walks of life to the fact that cer­tain inflam­ma­to­ry state­ments of options made on the air­waves through strolling micro­phones, inter­views and radio broad­casts con­tribute to strength­en­ing the posi­tion of ene­mies of peace who seek ali­bis that allow them to con­tin­ue to sup­port their sor­did ambitions.
  • CICA calls on the Inter­nal Secu­ri­ty Forces (ISF) remained impar­tial and to ful­fill their duty to main­tain pub­lic order with­out bias.
  • CICA invites all the lead­ers of the repub­li­can insti­tu­tions of the coun­try, espe­cial­ly the elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple, the heads of the var­i­ous depart­ments in the pub­lic and pri­vate admin­is­tra­tion, jour­nal­ists and oth­er com­pa­tri­ots to avoid falling into the trap of the ene­mies of the coun­try and to use wis­dom in the treat­ment of infor­ma­tion and in com­mu­ni­ca­tions, because we have still fall­en very deeply into the cri­sis because of the hid­den agen­das of which many of us know nei­ther the ins and outs.

CICA sin­cere­ly thanks all those who are work­ing to strength­en peace and live it together.

Yes, we are con­demned to live together.

Did­n’t God say in the Qur’an chap­ter 21 verse 92: “Tru­ly you all belonged to one com­mu­ni­ty and I alone am your Lord, so wor­ship only Me.

Hap­py Ramadan to all the Cen­tral African people.

May God give our lead­ers more wis­dom in ful­fill­ing their heavy responsibility.

God bless the Cen­tral African Republic.

 

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