Sunday, October 31, 2010

AFRICA: IVORY COAST: ARCHBISHOP CALLS FOR REJECTION OF VIOLENCE

Agenzia Fides REPORT –Presidential elections: “no to violence, not to systematic lying,” says Archibishop of Abidjan
Ivory Coast is preparing to vote, after several postponements, for the new head of state. The presidential elections, which were supposed to have taken place in 2005, will be held Sunday, October 31. The main candidates are the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bédié, and Alassane Ouattara.On October 18, Archbishop Jean Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, issued a message calling on Ivorians to "reject violence as a form of expression. If the electoral contest is legitimate, this can in no way lead to acts of vandalism."In the message sent to Fides, Archbishop Kutwa says he is concerned about the climate of tension fueled by some media campaigns, “every day we see an increased aggressiveness in the press.”The Archbishop of Abidjan then reminds journalists of their obligation to inform the public properly and not become tools of political struggle.The message also claims that "a certain political opinion and the media have often presented an erroneous profile of the politician and a superficial and dangerous image of his career. In effect, politics is often represented as a struggle undertaken to obtain, at any price, an honorable place, a source of considerable advantages. In this perspective, of course, all means are justified for reaching one's own goals."Faced with this situation, Archbishop Kutwa warns the faithful not to fall victim to provocations and speculation "when information is given, regardless of where it comes from, it is rarely neutral. The election periods are filled with rumors, tendentious interpretations of words and gestures. It is difficult to bring out the truth from these attempts of intoxication. However, only the truth frees man and makes him grow. Systematic lying in order to gain power makes man vulnerable."After acknowledging the efforts made by the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité (FDS, the National Armed Forces) and the Forces Armées des Forces Nouvelles (FAFN, who since 2002 control the north-west of the country) to create a joint command center to ensure the security of the elections, Archbishop Kutwa concludes by making an appeal to politicians to lead a political struggle through peaceful means thinking about the greater good of the nation and future generations. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27707&lan=eng

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