Holy See's Address on Africa's Problems
"Disaster Is Being Created"
GENEVA, MARCH 15, 2005 (Zenit - This is the text of the address that Monsignor Fortunatus Nwachukwu gave last Thursday at the 32nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The text was released today.
Monsignor Nwachukwu is nunciature counselor at the Holy See's permanent observer mission to the United Nations at Geneva.
* * *
Mr. Chairperson, the refugee situation in Africa remains a deep scar on the human family everywhere. The precarious and tragic condition of these millions of persons forcibly uprooted from their villages and their lands calls for concrete and prompt decisions to alleviate their suffering and to protect their rights. The international community should no longer delay an already overdue response. Such a delay would imply acceptance of a double standard in solidarity at the expenses of the voiceless and most marginalized people.
Some positive signs were given in the past year when voluntary and organized repatriation of refugees had started to normalize life for tens of thousand of them. But the whole process is clouded now by insufficient funding and by the worsening of violence and ill treatment of the displaced population of Darfur (Sudan) where the humanitarian situation is critical. Systematic attacks on the civil populations, the destruction of infrastructures and entire villages and the elimination of livestock and crops lead to a widespread displacement of the civilian population. The attacks are brutal and violent and human rights violations are a daily occurrence. Particularly vulnerable are women subjected to rape and other forms of degradation. An environmental disaster is being created that [...] will take years to restore.
The various U.N. reports are quite clear and forceful and describe many of the events as crimes against humanity and/or war crimes, "not less serious and heinous than genocide."1
If a person is lucky, he or she becomes a refugee by crossing the border and ends up in a refugee camp in Chad, where protection and some relative safety may be provided. If individuals and families stay behind, they end up by joining one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world, often at high risk and where security cannot be guaranteed. The African Union military monitors are insufficient in number; they lack the necessary logistical support and can hardly let their presence be felt. The Sudanese authorities do not seem able or be in a position to protect the rights of their own people.
One has to conclude that the protection needs for the people remaining in Darfur are hardly met, despite the courageous presence and assistance of the UNHCR, of other U.N. agencies, of so many NGOs. Still the total victimized and displaced population cannot be reached.
Mr. Chairperson, confronted by such a complex situation, a strong U.N. leadership and an overall coordination by one agency of external assistance and protection to IDP camps and other places of their concentration appear urgent.
Here lies an international responsibility which points directly to us, to the human family of nations. The broader question should again be raised: What institution will be structurally responsible for the protection of IDPs? As [an] international community we should develop a reliable system which effectively protects those staying in their own country, but displaced from their homes.
The Holy See delegation encourages a further development of a clearer system of responsibility for IDPs, while realizing that this involvement in protection and human rights issues will require larger human and financial resources and, above all, the political will to act, to intervene and take the arms off the hands of aggressors. The longer the delay to act, the greater the risk of more uprooted and abused people and of undermining hard-achieved peace agreements.
The way forward is to stop the flow of arms into the conflict, to hold individuals accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity, to take action now and give new hope to Africa and to all refugees.
1 Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General. Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1564 of 18 September 2004. Geneva, 25 January 2005
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Africa, Holy See, Nwachukwu, Refugee, Human, Family, Rights
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Scientists predict Biblical flood for California HD Video
- 'This is him telling me he is scared' - Heartbreaking image of ...
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 24th, 2017 HD Video
- Wave of anti-Semitic threats end in vandalization horror - But ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- Heroic woman saves officer's life during roadside attack
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- New pilgrimage route recreates Jesus' footsteps HD
- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 HD
- California's floods predicted by scientists, but how? HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.