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Abidjan archbishop in hiding

Abidjan archbishop in hiding

April 8, 2011

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan has gone into hiding as fighting continues to rock the capital of Ivory Coast. “I am in a hidden place. Violent fighting continues. We can hear massive explosions,” Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan told Fides in a phone interview before being cut off. He was speaking to Fides from the centre of the Ivory Coast's administrative capital, where incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo is still barricaded in the presidential residence, which is currently being assaulted by the Republican forces close to President-elect Alassane Oattara. Meanwhile, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Ambrose Madtha told Aid to the Church in Need that mass graves have been discovered in two cities. “There have been many killings (by the blows from heavy weapons, slaughters, people burned alive), there are kidnappings, looting, etc.”, the Nuncio said. “Families are fleeing the violence and taking refuge mostly in churches.” The Diocese of Man (particularly the cities of Abidjan and Duékoué, where mass graves were discovered of hundreds of corpses) and the Archdiocese of Abidjan and Gagnoa are the most affected. “The displaced people are really deprived of everything, because they were forced to leave everything in order to escape,” said Archbishop Madtha. “They are lacking food, clean water, medicine and clothes. We are assisting these people by sharing with them the little that we have. But faced with the seriousness of the situation and their great need, we need help,” he said. SOURCE “There have been violent explosions in the centre of Abidjan,” Archbishop Kutwa tells Fides, before communications are cut off (Fides) The Nuncio in Abidjan denounces the serious violations of human rights and gives witness to the aid to victims provided by the Church (Fides)

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