The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is deeply saddened by the seemingly intractable xenophobic attacks in some parts of South Africa against fellow African sisters and brothers. Electronic and print media have continued to publish videos of the sordid actions of some South African sisters and brothers brutalizing their own kind in the pretext of territorial protection and struggle against imaginative occupation. These have then caused reprisal attacks from other African countries such as Nigeria and Zambia. The AACC and well-meaning institutions are profoundly disturbed by these inhuman acts against innocent people created in the image and likeness of God. These heinous attacks are highly condemnable. The attacks jettison cultural and ideological philosophies of UBUNTU and UJAMAA. This culture of violence must be rejected by all with accompanying actions of entrenching a culture of hospitality.
The AACC passionately calls on:
- The government of South Africa, member churches of AACC and South Africa Council of Churches to deliberately work to address this recurring menace of needless attacks against fellow Africans, who find South Africa as a safe space to thrive and to contribute to its well- being.
- Churches in South Africa to open their doors to those seeking protection and shelter, and to provide humanitarian assistance and psycho-social support.
- The African Union and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to take urgent action in order to salvage the situation in South Africa in line with the AU Agenda 2063 which speaks to a peaceful and secure Africa, that is integrated, politically united and based on ideals of Pan, Africanism which has a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics.
The AACC commits to accompany all stakeholders in South Africa and the continent at large to bring to halt all acts that project Africa as a continent that eats its own, but a continent that strives to create spaces where lives flourish and hospitality demonstrated based on the notions of Ubuntu and Ujamaa.
The AACC prays for the families of those killed in all the attacks and speedy recovery to those injured. For those who lost their sources of livelihood, we pray God and the government of South Africa to intervene in ways that are life-giving. Amen.
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), is a continental communion of 193 churches and councils in 42 African countries with a shared vision of “…Life, Peace, Justice and Dignity” for all people and creation. The AACC has continued to initiate and support well-intentioned efforts that aim at the fullness of life for all God’s creation in Africa in particular and in the world in general. We have not relented in our accompaniment initiatives to member churches and councils toward the realization of the mental image of an Africa that humanity flourishes without impinging on the inherent dignity as given by God at creation and continuing incarnation. This astute commitment of the AACC will not be distracted in any way or form by negative actions of some groups of human agencies. The AACC remains firm to the common dream of “Africa: My Home, My Future” and realizing AU Agenda 2063: The Africa We want.
May the Peace that Christ gives prevail in our continent, Africa.
Rev. Lesmore Gibson EZEKIEL PhD
FICA Director for Peace, Diakonia, and Development