AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Violence in the Central African Republic has dramatically increased causing Pope Francis and his team to question whether or not his scheduled visit to the country at the end of the month will go ahead.
AFP reported that “more than 100 homes were torched and several people slaughtered as sectarian violence flared in the Central African Republic”.
Pope Francis is set to visit Africa this month, touring Kenya, Uganda and the CAR.
Sectarian violence is not confined to the CAR, both Kenya and Uganda have a long history too. On Thursday an official with the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) cautioned residents of the Western district, Kabarole, about sectarianism, reported The Monitor.
Kenya continues to face problems concerning al-Shabaab who attacked and killed around 147 students, targeting a majority of Christians, in early February this year. Africa Times reporter Robert Wanjala wrote on the issue last month explaining that not only have such terrorists groups as al-Shabaab contributed to the issue of sectarianism among Muslims and Christians in the country, but so have Kenyan security agents who have as he put it “victimized and demonized Muslims and Somalis as terrorists.”
However, it’s not all bad news, in Kenya the Muslim community and Christians in some areas are working together to change the discourse. The two communities have created initiatives to aid in their co-existence.
With the Pope’s imminent arrival to Africa, the hope is that the violence will come to a close. Pope Francis has been focusing on inequalities and poverty recently as well as hoping to tackle peace and tolerance during his visit.