BAMAKO AUGUST 28, 2015(CISA) – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is working to support displaced people and hungry school students in Mali despite ongoing violence while calling for more humanitarian aid to help stabilize the country.
“For Catholic Relief Services, this means that the lack of law and order in the North can cause humanitarian emergencies, and it creates a very difficult and dangerous environment for CRS and partners to implement programs,” Niek de Goeij CRS country representative in Mali, told CNA August 24.
According to de Goeij, CRS is doing what it can to meet the needs of the people on the ground, despite the challenges, while keeping its staff members safe.
With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CRS helps provide 80,000 daily lunches to students. The agency also helps provide essential household supplies and direct cash to those affected.
Mali has been unstable, but violence has increased recently. Over 235,000 people have been displaced from their homes, according to CRS. About 10,000 foreign United Nations soldiers are in the country to try to keep peace.
“The country faces many problems, not least the effort to re-establish a stable, inclusive and peaceful democracy across its territory. Hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced and hundreds of thousands more face acute food shortages each year,” de Goeij explained.
“With the right investments in the years to come, Mali could become a success story, but if not, there is a real risk of a further deterioration and destabilization of one of Africa’s largest countries,” he warned. (34)views
JUBA AUGUST 28, 2015 (CISA) – South Sudanese rebels and the army have for the second time in a week accused each other of attacks, barely a day after President Salva Kiir signed a peace deal.
Former Vice President Riek Machar said that South Sudanese government troops had attacked towns held by the rebels, reported Reuters.
“The government offensive against the SPLM/SPLA (rebels) is continuing unabated despite Salva Kiir signing the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” Machar said.
“We are wondering whether the government is genuine on signing the agreement. We condemn the regime’s continued offensive in the strongest possible terms.”
Army spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, however rejected the claims and said it was the rebels who had attacked the government soldiers.
“On Wednesday it was the rebels attacking the SPLA in Nhialdiu and the SPLA repulsed them. There are casualties but we don’t have the details up to now,” he said adding. “Definitely, the army command will implement the government policy and we will only fight in self-defense if the rebels attack our positions.”
On August 26, President Kiir signed a peace deal expected to end a 20-month conflict but he told regional African leaders at the ceremony that he still had “serious reservations.”
“With all those reservations that we have, we will sign this document,” he said before signing the agreement. Machar who is expected to become the country’s First Vice President under the deal, signed the document last week in Addis Ababa.
The United States had proposed a United Nations arms embargo and more sanctions from September 6 unless the pact was signed by the 15-day deadline given to President Kiir last week.
According to the UN, thousands of people have been killed and about two million others have fled their homes since the conflict erupted in December 2013 following a power struggle between the two leaders. (28)views
KAKYANGA AUGUST 28, 2015(CISA) – Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala on August 23 opened a new church to be known as St Mary Catholic Sub-Parish church at Kakyanga, one of Lake Victoria’s islands.
The new sub-parish is under Buyege Catholic Parish in Bussi sub-county, Wakiso district.
The church was opened by Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala, during a colourful function attended by hundreds of people who came from the surrounding islands on the lake and the mainland, Uganda’s New Vision newspaper reported.
Archbishop Lwanga was accompanied by his private secretary, Fr Denis Mugerwa, Vicar of Entebbe Vicariate, Fr Joseph Ssebayigga, Fr Barnabas Magezi from Masaka Diocese, Parish priest of Buyege parish Fr Vincent Kasirye and his curate Fr Lawrence Ssekamatte.
The function which started at 12 Pm by unveiling and blessing of the new church was followed by a Holy Mass. In his homily, Archbishop Lwanga advised people to stop preaching ill against other religions. He said it was not good to use the Bible and abuse other religions.
He thanked Christians for working together with priests and catechists to achieve togetherness in the Church as people of the same family.
“As I was coming to this Island, I imagined the hardships Pere Simeon Lourdel (Locally known as Mapeera) and his companion Brother Delmus Amans (Amansi) encountered when coming to introduce the Good News that contained the word of God to this country,” Archbishop Lwanga said.
He further thanked the various committees that work for the common good to see that they build a beautiful Sub-parish, and all who sacrifice their time, talent and treasure for the benefit of the Church.
He advised the people to be at peace with one another and to avoid actions that may cause disharmony in their various communities and sub-parish.
The new sub-parish is one of the 20 sub-parishes that make Buyege Catholic Parish on Kakyanga Island under the pastoral care of Kampala Archdiocese. (18)views
MOMBASA, AUGUST 28, 2015(CISA) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called upon all leaders to join hands and work with security agencies to ensure elimination of drugs and substance abuse and traffickers made to pay for their crimes in Coast region.
“My administration will not relent. We shall destroy any vessel on land, sea or air that is confirmed to be carrying drugs,” Capital FM news quoted President Kenyatta as saying.
President Kenyatta said that the government will not allow illicit brewers, drug traffickers and sellers to destroy lives and will intensify operations against them across the entire region.
President Kenyatta spoke when he opened this year’s Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Mombasa International Show at the Mombasa show ground, Mkomani in August 27.
President Kenyatta further appealed to parents whose children have disappeared to work closely with security agencies to ensure they return.
“Work with political, religious and community leaders to rehabilitate the youth,” President Kenyatta told the security committees.
He applauded efforts that are restoring security in the coast region adding that as a result the tourism industry has started recovering.
As the government implements several projects to improve the lives of Kenyans, President Kenyatta called on coast residents to guard against tribalism and divisive politics.
“Kenya belongs to all of us and we should work together in harmony to build the country that we will all be proud of,”concluded the Head of State.
NAIROBI AUGUST 25, 2015 (CISA) – John Cardinal Njue has called upon faithful to embrace missionary work in their dioceses, parishes and the outstations.
“The missionaries sacrificed their lives to bring us the good news. There in our outstations, parishes and the dioceses we must insist on embracing the missionary work. Remember if there is a church and is not missionary then it is not a church,” said Cardinal Njue.
In his homily when he celebrated Mass to mark the end of the 3-day Golden Jubilee celebrations of Vatican II Council document and silver Jubilee Commission for Mission at St Mary’s School Msongari in Nairobi, Cardinal Njue urged Christians to be responsible, faithful and open to become instruments of spreading the good news.
“We must be aggressive, self-giving, courageous and ready to die for our faith. We need to be guided by the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary through promotion of responsible living, change of attitude and forgiveness. A tree is known by the fruits it bears,” said Cardinal Njue of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi.
The cardinal further challenged the older members of the church to keep on inspiring the young members and ensure they support evangelization of the word of God.
“We as older member of the family of God should inspire young members to pray, receive sacrament, seek reconciliation with God and neighbor as well as offer their time and money to support evangelization work,” he said.
Speaking during the occasion on the theme “Celebrating our faith,” Pontifical Missionary Society National Director Fr Celestino Bundi urged the faithful to keep moving forward the strong legacy left behind by the early missionaries.
“As children as parents as priest as religious lets us be proud of our identity as Catholics and do the best to continue the legacy given to us by those missionaries who came before us. We are happy to see the fruits planted by them,” said Fr Bundi.
The event was attended by Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa Martin Kivuva, Bishop Anthony Muheria of Kitui, Bishop Joseph Alessandro of Garissa, Bishop Joseph Mbatia of Nyahururu and Bishop Paul Kariuki of Embu.
Over five thousand Pontifical Missionary Childhood (PMC) children from 25 dioceses in Kenya, their animators and priests from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania also attended the function. (88)views