Vatican Did Not Give Funds “to help victims of mutinies”, Cardinal in CAR Faults Report

Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga during the press conference in CAR's capital Bangui 5 October 2021. Credit: Archdiocese of Bangui

Vatican has never sent funds intended to help victims of the 1996/1997 mutinies in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Archbishop of Bangui has sought to clarify, faulting a newspaper report.

In February 17, “Les Collines de l'Oubangui” newspaper published an article claiming that about 82 billion CFA francs (USD144,992,646.00), granted by the Vatican to the victims of the 1996-1997 mutiny in the Central African Republic, had been embezzled.

Addressing journalists Tuesday, October 5, Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga dismissed the newspaper report saying, “It is unimaginable that the Vatican, a state that has diplomatic representation in the Central African Republic, notably the Apostolic Nunciature, can send money or pass on important information through a third party or an entity.”

“I would simply like to reassure all the Central African people and all those who love the truth, that in no case did the Vatican send 82 billion CFA francs to help the victims of the mutinies,” Cardinal Nzapalainga said.

As an example, the Cardinal cited the Holy Father’s visit to CAR in 2015 and donated funds for the  rehabilitation of the pediatric hospital in Bangui saying, “When Pope Francis visited the pediatric ward, he was moved by the precarious condition of malnourished children being taken care of at the hospital.”


When the Holy Father decided to show kindness by sending 4 billion CFA francs (US$7,072.00) for the rehabilitation and equipment of the pediatric complex, he said, “the money was sent to the Nunciature and a committee for the management of this fund was set up to oversee the execution of the project.”

Cardinal Nzapalainga also cited the example of the aid given to people who took refuge in 2013 on different sites for displaced persons including Catholic Church premises such as the Major Seminary, the John XXIII Center, and St. Paul Parish among others.

“Here as well the money granted was managed by the Nunciature and Caritas. This gesture of the Vatican has permitted the displaced persons to return to their homes,” he explained.

On Monday, October 4, members of the Association of Victims of the Mutinies staged a protest at the residence of the Archbishop demanding the payment of the funds.

Speaking to journalists during the October 5 press conference, Cardinal Nzapalainga clarified that “when the Association of Victims of the Mutinies contacted the Archdiocese about the money sent by the Holy Father, they did not present any paperwork to justify the granting and sending of the money; nor was there any trace of a transfer of the enormous sum of 82 billion CFA francs.” 

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“For each transfer or money transfer, there are bank account numbers and references that can allow access to the Fund. Never a person can stay at home and tell you to go and withdraw money without transfer documents,” he added.

The Local Ordinary of Bangui continued in relation to the claims, “As of today, I have asked to be told the bank where the 82 billion is deposited, but I have not received an answer.”

On the allegations of a withdrawal of 32 billion CFA (US$56,582,496.00) made by the Cardinal, and also of 10 billion ( USD 17,682,030.00) by President Faustin Archange Touadera, Cardinal Nzapalainga asked the members of the association to tell him “where and when the operations were carried out.” 

He urged those at the helm of the association to stop manipulating and swindling “poor people who have already suffered too much.”

He revealed the association required members to pay 11,000 CFA (USD20) each “to have access to the so-called Fund sent by the Holy Father.”


“The people in charge of this association must refund the 11,000 CFA francs to the poor victims who, for the second time, become victims of their scam,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Bangui has decided to submit a written complaint to the Communication Council in CAR (HCC) for false publications in a local newspaper. 

The leadership of the Catholic Archdiocese is also expected to file a complaint so that justice can restore the truth on the allegation that the Holy Father gave a grant of 82 billion CFA to the victims of the mutinies.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.