Central African Republic: Miracles at “Forgiveness, Love, Unite” Conference-debate
UPF Central African Republic, By Jean Louis Kamango, June 13, 2015: A month after the holding of the National Forum of Bangui, The hall of conference of 20,000 seats stadium hosted the second part of the UPF Central Africa Republic conference with the theme: ” Forgiveness, Love, Unite ” for gathered Religious, political, youth and women leaders, members of civil society and representative of different armed groups.
As a reminder, the Central African Republic has faced a recurrent political and military crisis since 1996. The last crisis in 2012 has evidenced a large gap in the society, between Muslims and Christians communities marked by killings, looting committed both communities. Thanks to the intervention of the international community, the situation is improving gradually.
The purpose of the conference on May 4-11, 2015 was to help to lay the foundation for peace and social cohesion. This is in order to consolidate the achievements of the forum that the UPF Central African Republic has organized this conference to debate attended by 80 Religious, Political, youth, women leaders, and civil society and representative of armed groups and the Association of victims of armed conflicts.
The Government was represented by General Director of reconciliation, representative the Minister of Reconciliation, dialogue and the promotion of civic culture.
During the conference, the speech that our Father had given in 1973 during the crisis of WATERGATE with the theme FORGIVE, UNITE and LOVE was read by the Reverend Noel Mathias SALOBGBA, General Secretary of UPF Central African Republic.
Core values and universal principles of peacebuilding was presented to participants. Following this, the forms were distributed to participants in order to receive the Ambassador for Peace certificate.
Then Imam KOBINE LAYAMA, president of the Central Islamic Community (CICA), and representatives of three religious leaders Archbishop NZAPALAINGA, Archbishop of Bangui, and Rev. Pastor GUEREKOYAME, President of the Association of Evangelical Churches of Central Africa (AEC) spoke. He congratulated the FPU for the initiative to organize this conference and requested that FPU teaches them in the hinterland.
Our national messiah who supported the conference financially, spoke on leader’s responsibility. He said that leaders is the one to serve the people. He also talk strongly about the sexual abuse that the French military did on the Central African children. And he emphasize on three points that the Leaders have usually: the violation of human right, the misuse of the sexual organ and the misuse of public money.
The last person who spoke was representative of Minister of Reconciliation, of Dialogue and promotion of civic culture. She also congratulated the UPF-CAR for organizing the conference debate and praised the objective of strengthening the Bangui Forum acquired to promote peace and social cohesion among Central Africans.
After the coffee break, the conference was taken up by discussions among participants. It was the thrilling part of the conference where all participants have spoken. There were serious discussion between the participants, strong conversation, explanation and justification, sometimes with anger and also emotions on the causes of conflicts, of what they have suffered.
Ultimately, miracles occurred. The representative of the association of victims of armed conflict, who has lost his leg in one of conflict in the past, spoke angrily. He said because of this he decided to never forgive Muslims and armed groups including the Anti-Balaka group (armed group). But during conference he was touched by the message of the True Parents, through the FPU. So he asked an Imam and an anti-Balaka come before him so he can embrace them, taking them in his arms, in front of all audience, as a sign of forgiveness.
Also, in the end, the general coordinator of armed anti-Balaka Christian group knee to Imams who was there, to apologize. The move was followed by an Imam. It was incredibly moving moments, and our eyes were blurred with tears.
At the closing ceremony, we had an interfaith prayer by a Muslim Imam and a Christian pastor which followed by a prayer by all the participants holding hands. And at the end all participants sang the national anthem.