The Central African constitutional court confirmed that Faustin Archange Touadéra (58) has defeated Anicet Georges Dologuélé in February’s presidential run-off elections, securing about 63% of the votes. Mr. Touadéra, a Christian, served as Prime Minister in the pre-crisis administration of President Francois Bozize. His election has brought hope for a new beginning and a brighter future, but his government is facing many challenges.
One of the biggest challenges is reconciling the communities that were polarized along religious lines through the crisis. President Elect Touadéra told the BBC, “These elections are important but they are not the only step out of this crisis. We have to create the conditions for dialogue between the two communities. We will do everything we can so that Central Africans can live together in Central African Republic.”
Mr. Touadéra is also facing a humanitarian crisis created by the events of the last three years. According to the World Food Program (WFP), at least half of the population (2.5 million people) is facing hunger. The number of people battling hunger doubled as the country’s overall crop production in 2015 remained 54% below the pre-crisis average.
The church has an important role to play in restoring CAR. Open Doors research staff reported that the church played an active role in preparations for the elections. Additionally, churches continue to play a role in relieving the pressures caused by the humanitarian crisis. Shortly before the elections, following renewed violence, some 14,000 people were seeking refuge at Internally Displaced People’s sites at churches dotted across the capital Bangui.
But there is a lot of work still to be done and Open Doors is standing with them in this. We have raised prayer support for the situation there. In addition to this we have helped by (among other things) presenting reconciliation training, offering emergency relief, and preparing trauma care workers.
We always thank You, Father, for Your presence with us in the midst of both joy and trials. But, today we especially thank You with full hearts as we celebrate the coming presidency of Your servant Faustin Touadéra in Central African Republic where there has been much strife in recent times. We praise You for the encouragement this success has been among Your people there and indeed among many who look with hope toward his leadership. Equip him with wisdom and courage as he leads the nation in facing the challenges of establishing peace and unity among the warring factions, and of providing food and shelter for those who are displaced in the nation. Raise him up to lead the nation with godly integrity as he seeks peace and prosperity in the nation God has called him to serve (Jeremiah 29:6). In the name of Jesus, the true vine in whom we abide, Amen.