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Religious leaders in Central African Republic say government has failed, international help needed

Catholic World News - January 23, 2014

The Archbishop of Bangui, in the Central African Republic, has joined with an influential Islamic leader in a plea for international intervention to end bloodshed in the country, saying that the government has lost control.

Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga and Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, who are touring Europe together, have asked for a reinforcement of the 6,000 French troops now serving in the Central African Republic, the Fides news service reports. The religious leaders said that the international force was not adequate to curb the fighting between rebels and militia groups.

“The state has failed,” Archbishop Nzapalainga told Fides. He reported that only 2 of the 36 government ministries are functioning, and the structure of political leadership will have to be rebuilt entirely.

On January 23, Catherine Samba-Panza was sworn in as the new president of the Central African Republic. The archbishop welcomed her election, but said that she would be hard pressed to revive an administration that had collapsed.

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