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Statement von Bischof Franklyn Nubuasah (Botswana) zur Zweiten Afrikasynode in Rom

Bischof Franklyn Nubuasah, Francistown/Botsuana © M. Vogt, missio

Botswana is a small stable democratic country with good governance and the rule of law. We are a middle income country that attracts people from other places of Africa. We are a haven for peace as we have no experience of war or conflict in our country. There are a good number of refugees seeking asylum. We have peace because of our traditional mechanism of the kgotla, i.e. the court of the ruler where dialogue is respected. Our belief is that the greatest war is one of words. The church has introduced this cultural practice to the parishes to help make and promote peace and understanding.

Right now, there is a strain on our resources, job market and health facilities because of the influx of people due to the socio-political situation of the region. We are concerned about xenophobia due to the present harsh economic downturn. The church has been with the people promoting peace and brotherhood. There has been no need for minorities to use violence to make their concerns known.

AIDS is a challenge for the countries in Southern Africa. Botswana is working hard through education to prevent new infections. Treatment is available for citizens but unfortunately not for refugees and foreigners living in the country. AIDS has ravaged the foundations of Botswana society. It has the potential to be used as a weapon of war and conflict. How do you forgive one who deliberately infects you with the killer virus?

The Catholic Church is only about 81 years old in Botswana with about 4% belonging to the church. Our educational institutions have contributed to the education and formation of leadership in the country thus contributing to the prevailing culture of peace.

The church also works ecumenically with the World Council of Churches and other NGO's to relieve suffering and promote brother/sisterhood, thus eliminating the need to fight for scarce resources. We seek to be salt that preserves peace by being faithful to our cultural practices that promote peace. The church in Africa can learn from the experiences of Botswana to promote peace.

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