At an interreligious prayer event held in Abidjan Oct. 14, the Alliance of Religions for Peace in Ivory Coast called on political officials to engage in dialogue for a peaceful election.
Bishop Alexis Touably Youlo of the Diocese of Agboville, speaking at the event, urged the Ivorian government to release those imprisoned "following the recent demonstrations in connection with the presidential election," adding that the "government should further promote the return of those in exile to Ivory Coast."
Bishop Youlo urged members of political parties to "ban all forms of violence in the conquest of power," inviting the entire Ivorian population "to avoid all forms of violence and show restraint during this election period."
Noël Nguessan, the pastor of an ecclesial community in the country and spokesman of the ARPI, said that "religious leaders in Ivory Coast encourage the political actors to resume dialogue among themselves and we are willing to accompany them in this inter-Ivorian dialogue for peace."
He added, "We encourage all initiatives that are part of peace; everything must be done to maintain peace. Thanks therefore to all the partners and high-level friends of the Ivory Coast for their efforts in favor of the stability of our country."
"The religious leaders urge political parties to refrain from making reference to religious denominations in their campaign speeches because the majority of activists and supporters of political parties are of different religious backgrounds," Nguessan reflected.