AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - Religious leaders: “declare legitimate Bangassou people request for withdrawal of Moroccan UN Peacekeepers
17/08/2017

Bangui - In Bangassou, a city in the south east of the Central African Republic the people are demanding the withdrawal of the Moroccan troops of the UN Peacekeeping Mission.
“The request is legitimate and confirms the request forwarded by Mons. Aguirre, the Catholic Bishop of Bangassou” says Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, leader of the platform of Religious Confessions in the Central African Republic who was part of a delegation sent from the capital Bangui to investigate regarding the situation in and around Bangassou. The delegation comprised representatives of local politics, state administration and the civil society.
In a report to Fides, Bishop Juan José Aguirre Muños of Bangassou, had precious;y denounced the troops of MINUSCA , deployed in area for being “trigger happy” : they react to ambushes with indiscriminate firing, hitting also innocent persons .
“The people are witnesses and victims of the activity in the city of the Moroccan contingent of the UN peacekeepers” said Imam Layama. “The people want the contingent to leave Bangassou because it has failed in its duty to protect civilians. These troops do little or nothing when the militiamen attack. Some say the Moroccan military are the cause of several cases of murder because they shoot civilians point blank calling them militia” continued the Imam.
Bangassou and surroundings are the scene of clashes between former Seleka rebels and Anti Balaka militia, following the withdrawal of Ugandan and US troops sent to the area to hunt for Joseph Koni, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army . For some months now Bangassou cathedral has sheltered some two thousand Muslim citizens threatened by the Anti Balaka militia .


UNITED STATES - Thanks to Catholic Bishop Mexican mother may remain in US to care for her daughter
17/08/2017

El Paso – A Mexican women, mother of three who risked deportation has been given permission to remain in the United States for another six months, thanks to the intervention of Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas and other religious leaders.
María Elena De Loera, has been granted permission for " humanitarian motives" to care for her eight year old daughter Alia receiving treatment for cancer.
This is the third time that Mrs De Loera is given a temporary residence permit since 2014 when she first applied for asylum in the US. Her first application was motivated on the grounds that after her husband’s murder in Mexico she feared for the safety of her three children. A few months after Mrs De Loera’s first application for asylum, her youngest child was diagnosed with cancer. She was given a permit to remain in the US through 2015 while her daughter received cancer treatment, but the permit had to be renewed every year. This year the permit was to expire but thanks to the intervention of Bishop Seitz and other local religious leaders Mrs De Loera can stay on with her daughter .
AFRICA/DR CONGO - Two emergency projects in provinces of former Katanga help cope with double the number of internally displaced persons
17/08/2017

Agenzia Fides) Kalemie – According to a report issued by OCHA, in March this year there were about 450,000 internally displaced persons in the province of Tanganyika, the worst hit of the four provinces of what was formerly known as Katanga, by Luba-Pygmy conflict which has raged since 2016. In the main provincial town Kalemie, six out of every ten people are displaced. To help in this situation of emergency, NGO Italian blood donors association AVIS has launched two projects. One will assure school classes for 15,000 destitute children in Kalemie: providing basic school backup courses for schools near displaced persons camps and funding to include newcomers in the classes; training for teachers and school principals; school materials, balls and games and supplies of teachers’ kits. The second project RRMP, Rapid Response Popular Movements, will be a six month intervention in the most impervious and difficult to reach parts of the four provinces of former Katanga to offer assistance for people internally displaced for at least 3 months: basic necessities, schooling, healthcare and hygiene in cooperation with the International Rescue Committee .
AFRICA/UGANDA - Mini cultural centre on wheels open for street children
17/08/2017

Kampala - Matatart is a project run jointly by a 30 year old architect, an Italian Aid Worker, and a young Ugandan woman. The project helps carry culture and art to street children in Kampala. Matatart comes from matatu, small vans which serve as multiple taxis . The organisation purchased an old matatu van in Japan turned it into a mini culture centre on wheels and now trundle it around among the street children in the outlying areas of the capital of Uganda. In Kawempe suburb, working with another organisation Matatart taught local children to repair and paint an empty house to serve as a home for abandoned children. Inside the small Matatart bus parked nearby the new home, the children are encouraged to borrow books, learn to paint, write and also listen to music.
According to UNICEF, in Uganda some 10,000 minors live and work on the streets.
(11/8/2017
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