Central African Republic (CAR)’s Bishop Juan José Aguirre Muños, M.C.C.I, the Bishop of Bangassou has told Agenzia Fides, the Catholic news agency that, notwithstanding the challenges, "At last we have a new President. What is important is that we have a new President that we hope will lead the country out of the abyss into which we had sunk three years ago.” Bishop Aguirre was commenting on the just ended election in CAR which saw Faustin-Archange Touadéra emerge as the new head of state.
According to Bishop Aguirre, there is hope that the election of a new president will pave the way to the normalisation of the country after the violent chaos created by the Seleka and anti-Balaka militias.
"The political situation gives us great hope now because we see the light at the end of the tunnel, but here in the Bangassou area we always live under the threat of the LRA, the guerrilla group of Ugandan origin that has raged for years, attacking villages in diocese", said Bishop Aguirre.
"There are at least 10 LRA groups who plunder villages, destroy barns and force young people to carry the stolen goods. In some cases, young people remain 5 to 10 days in the hands of the LRA, but many never return", added the Bishop.
Human Rights Watch has for many years been trying to get the attention of the international community to the nefarious activities of the LRA in the Central African region.
LRA, an especially brutal rebel group that has caused havoc in the central African region was pushed out of northern Uganda in 2005 after fighting the Ugandan government for nearly two decades. The rebel group now operates in the remote border regions of northern Congo, the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.