The Episcopal Conference of Benin (CEB) has debunked media reports that claimed the Catholic Church leaders had suspended their role as mediators in the country’s conflict.

“We have not made any announcement on our mediation efforts which is still on course according to the availability of the parties concerned,” reads the bishops’ statement sent to ACI Africa Friday.

The bishops were reacting to France-based radio RFI’s report that the Catholic Church leaders had decided to suspend their role as mediators in the ongoing conflict following failed attempts to meet the president of the republic, Patrice Talon.

RFI had cited the bishops’ concluding message at the Marian pilgrimage in Dassa, some 200km from the seat of Benin’s government, Cotonou, claiming that an internal source had disclosed the bishops’ withdrawal from their mediation course.

The media report indicated that the bishops would only resume their mediation role in October after their plenary assembly.

In their Wednesday August 21 statement, Benin Church leaders have clarified that “at Dassa, the bishops urged pilgrims and people of God to pray and hope.”

The Prelates also reconfirmed their preoccupation with peace in their country stating, “the current situation of country disturbs us and all actions taken this far remain valid.”

The bishops have urged the media to rely on the conference of bishops when sourcing for information.

“The only official channel for our announcements is the communication unit of the conference,” Benin bishops have stated.

They reaffirmed their commitment to working toward reconciliation and social cohesion of all inhabitants of Benin.

The conflict in Benin started when the government and opposition groups failed to resolve a political crisis that followed legislative elections in April this year.


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.