Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference calls for an end to terrorism in Cabo Delgado
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has called for an urgent solution to the terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, in order to end the suffering of those who have left their areas of origin.
The appeal was launched in Cabo Delgado during a visit by Southern African bishops to the victims of terrorism currently living in accommodation and resettlement centres.
“Material support is needed,” but not that alone, said Bishop Victor Phalana, a South African representative, quoted on Saturday by Radio Mozambique after a visit to Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado, on Friday.
“In political and diplomatic terms, there has to be a very, very serious intervention,” he stressed after visiting an IDP accommodation centre.
The delegation visiting Pemba included Bishop José Luis Ponce de León , of Manzini, Eswatini; Bishop Victor Phalana, of South Africa’s Klerksdorp Diocese; the SACBC Assistant Secretary General, Sr. Tshifhiwa Munzhedzi; and the Director of the Dennis Hurley Peace Institute, Johan Viljoen.
Bishop José Luís of Manzini, in the Kingdom of Eswatini, explained that the purpose of the visit was to show “solidarity with the bishop of Pemba and the people of Cabo Delgado,” and to see for themselves the reality of the IDPs’ lives.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference adjudged the humanitarian situation in the area “serious”, begging those responsible to end the terrorist attacks.
“We launched a great appeal” for “definitive solutions to this problem, because all the help that can be given” in terms of “accommodation and food” is insufficient to truly “reduce the suffering of the people,” Archbishop of Nampula Dom Inácio Saure said.
“The people’s greatest suffering” is “the fact that they have lost everything, even their dignity. Only an end to the war can be the definitive solution to the problem.”
However, despite the humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, the visiting southern African bishops were impressed by the solidarity for victims of terrorism they witnessed in the accommodation and resettlement centres.
“Thank God there are organizations that are trying to reduce the suffering of these people. But it seems that everything you do is a drop in the ocean, because the needs are so immense,” Dom Inácio Saure said.
The bishops also acknowledged the effort that the IDPs were themselves making to overcome their difficulties.
The members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference visited the province of Cabo Delgado at the invitation of the bishop of Pemba, Dom Luís Fernando Lisboa.
Source: O País / Lusa / Agenzia Fides