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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Central African Republic: missionaries trapped in war zone
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 Around 30 missionaries have been gathered in Gofo, in the northern zone of the Central African Republic, since mid-December, the Missionary News Service learnt yesterday. The group includes some Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, Brazilian and Madagascan priests, brothers and nuns. The entire zone is said to be under the control of the rebels linked to the country's former chief of staff, François Bozizé. Mystery hangs over why the missionaries are in Gofu. The town is home to a large catechist centre. Many of the missionaries are said to have come from Bossangoa, now the stronghold of the rebels, where tensions are "extremely high". Other reports say the rebels transferred them to to Gofu to use as hostages in possible future peace negotiations. On October 25 last year, Bozizé's rebels attempted to overthrow the Central African President Ange Felix Patassé. After being pushed back from the capital Bangui, they have now seized the main cities in the northern part of the country.
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