A group of African Roman Catholic archbishops, including three black cardinals, has issued a declaration roundly condemning human rights violations on the African continent.
The document scored such abuses not only in white-ruled southern Africa, but also, by implication, in many of the black-ruled African nations, such as Uganda and Equaotrial Guinea.
The standing committee of the Symposium of Bishops Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SCEAM), also warned at its meeting here against what it called efforts by outside nations to "recolonize" Africa. It urged black Africans themselves not to fall prey to "the sins of the former colonialism."
The document was signed by SCEAM president Paul Cardinal Zoungrana, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Upper Volta; first vice president Maurice Cardinal Otunga, archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya; Hyacinthe Cardinal Thiaudoum, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal, the second vice president, and by Archbishop Joseph P. Fitzgerald, O.M.I., of Johannesburg, South Africa.
"The standing committee of SCEAM," said the declaration, "cannot silence its indignation in the face of a new spell of outrageous violence in Africa - imprisonments, detentions, bannings without charges, expulsion, physical brutality, psychological tortures and assassinations."
Observing that Africa is "a coveted target for developed nations," the document declared: "It must be said loud and clear - that a veritable recolonialization is on the way. It is very often of an ideological order and pursues commercial and military objectives, preventing native Africans, who have an innate sense of dialogue and a certain facility for concerted action, from agreeing to ways and means of assuming responsibility for the dynamic growth of their own continent."
"Left to themselves, Africans would come to a friendly settlement of their specific problems."
The SCEAM standing committee continued: "It must also be said that the African continent would not be so violently troubled nowadays were it not for some Africans who, lured by riches and power, fall an easy prey to the sins of the former colonialism."