Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Serious violence against three activists of civil society in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The three women are part of the Coalition des femmes pour la protection des droits humains, a collective for the respect of human rights in the plateau of Ruzizi in Uvira Territory.
As reported to Agenzia Fides the three activists had traveled the villages in the area to raise awareness on non-violence and respect for the Constitution, on the eve of the expiry of the second and last term of President Kabila Josesph at midnight on 19 December (see Fides 20/12/2016). They wanted above all to inform the population that the transition of power between a President and his successor is a constitutional right guaranteed to all Congolese. In the course of their movement the three women received several telephone threats.
On the evening of December 19 some soldiers of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) entered the homes of the activists with force. Grace Tulinabitu was seriously injured and tortured and several of her personal items were stolen. Instead Judith Chekanabo and Armelle Mwamini were kidnapped and we have no news.
Today, December 21, Pope Francis launched an urgent appeal to the serious crisis in the DRC. "Those who have political responsibility must listen to the voice of their conscience, must see the cruel suffering of their compatriots and have the common good at heart" the Pope said. "In the light of a recent meeting I had with the President and the Vice -President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I once again extend a heartfelt appeal to all Congolese to be artisans of reconciliation and peace during this delicate moment in their history". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2016)