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DR Congo still beset with deep-seated problems.

La Croix International staff (with Catholic News Service) - Wed, Jan 13th 2021

DR Congo still beset with deep-seated problems, say Catholic leadersBishops fear that the country risks being broken apart by violence.

A member of the main opposition party, Union for Democracy and Social Progress reacts after being shot during a riot in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in this file photo. (Photo by Xinhua/Junior D. Kannah/MaxPPP)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo faces being broken up by prolonged violence, say Catholic leaders in the country. Msgr. 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 Congo, as had happened when the Balkans were divided along ethnic lines.

Massinganda told CNS Jan. 8 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.

"A statement on the Congolese bishops' website said Ambongo had visited eastern Congo Dec. 27-31 at the request of Bishop Melchisedech Sikuli Paluku of Butembo-Beni to "comfort populations bruised by atrocities."Speaking at a Jan. 3 Kinshasa news conference, Ambongo said Congolese citizens had hoped killings would cease when Felix Tshisekedi replaced the long-entrenched Joseph Kabila as president in December 2018 elections.

However, he added that the "democratic changeover of power" could not be celebrated while people were still dying in eastern Congo."I witnessed close-up the unacceptable misery of a traumatized and morally enfeebled population, of empty villages and abandoned fields," said the cardinal, whose remarks were carried on the bishops' website.You may also like

Read more at: https://international.la-croix.com/news/world/dr-congo-still-beset-with-deep-seated-problems-say-catholic-leaders/11600

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