Bangui, 20 March, 2023 / 9:55 pm (ACI Africa).
Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga of the Central African Republic (CAR) was not abducted, a Catholic Bishop in the country has said, and faulted media reports that a ransom has been paid to secure the release of the Archbishop of CAR’s Bangui Archdiocese.
The March 18 media reports indicated that Cardinal Nzapalainga had been allegedly kidnapped in the town of Ouadda, Haute Kotto, about 800 kilometers north-east of Bangui by rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).
In a statement issued Sunday, March 19, the Local Ordinary of Bambari Diocese who was part of the Cardinal’s delegation says, “There was no kidnapping, no ransom, no threats, no restriction of movement.”
Bishop Bertrand Guy Richard Appora-Ngalanibé explains the events of March 18, “The Cardinal’s delegation arrived in Ouadda and, wanting to continue on to Ouadda Djallé, was stopped at 5 km by one of the leaders of the elements of the Ouadda CPC, asking him to turn back and wait for instructions from their leaders based in Ouadda_Djallé before taking the road.”
“The cardinal complied with this order,” Bishop Appora-Ngalanibé further says about the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), and adds, “This process lasted a few hours; the authorization was given on Saturday, March 18 at about 8:00 am.”