On Tuesday, April 8, U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Rashad Hussain traveled to the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) with an interreligious delegation of leaders from the United States representing several faiths to demonstrate solidarity between religious communities in the U.S. and the people of the C.A.R.
The group met with C.A.R. religious leaders Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Imam Omar Kobine Layama, and Reverend Nicolas Guerekoyame Gbangou, who have actively come together in interfaith cooperation to promote religious tolerance and reconciliation in C.A.R.
Together, the U.S. and C.A.R. religious leaders met with the transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza to discuss promoting peace and reconciliation in C.A.R. They visited a mosque and the cathedral in Bangui and met with NGO representatives, UN agency officials, and members of civil society, including Seleka and anti-Balaka representatives, youth leaders, and officials of the transitional government.
Both sides agreed that further collaboration was needed to increase education and training on reconciliation and peacebuilding. The participants from C.A.R. also signed a statement renouncing violence and encouraging intercommunity and inter-religious dialogue to mitigate tensions and lay the foundations for a new peaceful coexistence in C.A.R.
In addition to S.E. Hussain, the delegation included the U.S. Department of State’s Senior Advisor for C.A.R. David Brown, and religious leaders Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Imam Mohamed Magid, and Mr. Leith Anderson.
For more information about this trip, please contact AF-Press@state.gov.