Catholic leaders say Congo risks being broken apart by violence
A year after Congo’s new president pledged to restore democracy and stability, the country’s Catholic leaders said the country faces being broken up by prolonged violence.
Mgr Andre Massinganda, deputy secretary-general of the Congolese bishops’ conference, told Catholic News Service that the Church was concerned with “how to bring peace to those areas where war continues, and how to end the killings and massacres so people can live safely again”.
Earlier, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa, conference vice president, visited conflict-torn North Kivu province and warned that the country planned to “Balkanize” the country, as had happened when the Balkans were divided along ethnic lines.
Mgr Massinganda told CNS the Catholic Church would continue urging those in power “to apply themselves to the search for peace”.
“We’ve been in a state of war for 20 years now; while there have been moments of relative calm, the country has never been under control,” he said. “The Congolese government has its army, and a multilateral force is deployed nationwide. But we’re still beset with deep-seated problems.”
Picture: A victim of ethnic violence rests inside a ward at the hospital in Bunia, Congo, on 25th June 2019. A year after Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi took office pledging democracy and stability, the nation’s Catholic leaders are warning that the country faces a breakup in the face of prolonged violence. (CNS photo/Olivia Acland, Reuters).