AFRICA/DR CONGO - Pre-election violence: strong condemnation on behalf of Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "We strongly condemn these violent acts", says Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, capital of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a statement of which a copy was sent to Fides, where in recent days some serious accidents took place. In particular, the night between 5 and September 6, unknown assailants set fire to Radio Television Lisanga (RLTV) headquarters, a radio and television broadcasting owned by an opposition MP. In the same hour the headquarters of the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS) had been ransacked, the main opposition party, and an office of the ruling party, Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et la Démocratie (PPRD). The following day, during the clashes between police and UDPS supporters, a demonstrator was killed and others were injured. Hence the tension in the country increases in sight of presidential and parliamentary elections in November.
A fact that is underlined in Cardinal Monsengwo’s message: "In recent days, there have been events capable of disrupting social peace and electoral process which everyone hopes is democratic, transparent and peaceful". The Cardinal continues: "Some political party militants set fire to other parties offices and that of a local radio station. There is no doubt that these acts are capable of causing an increase in tension in the country and divert public attention from the real problems that demand quick solutions".
"For this - the Archbishop’s statement continues - we strongly condemn such acts. We invite everyone, and the same law enforcement, to avoid unnecessary provocations and to be calm". "Elections are not a fight or a war for which you must sharpen your weapons - warns Cardinal Monsengwo - but it is a civilian operation, where people choose their elected on the basis of a program that is suited to lift and develop the Country". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/09/2011)