AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops call for the intervention of the President of Congo Brazzaville in the crisis in Kinshasa

Thursday, 11 January 2018 bishops   politics   pope francis  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The elections (at the end of the year) are sustainable" said Fr. Donatien Nshole, Secretary General of CENCO (Congolese National Episcopal Conference), in reference to the presidential, legislative and provincial elections to be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 23, 2018. These elections must regulate the succession of President Kabila, whose second and last term ended on December 20, 2016 according to the Constitution, which allows the President to remain in office until the inauguration of an elected successor.
Fr. Nshole expressed his opinion in Brazzaville where he was part of the delegation of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) that met the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, in his capacity as President of the International Conference of the Great Lakes (CIRGL), the regional body to which Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia belong.
The CENCO delegation asked President Nguesso to "avoid the worst" after the violent repression of the 31st December demonstration called by the Catholic laity in Kinshasa that made relations between the Church and power tense.
The situation in the DRC was recalled by Pope Francis in his speech to the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. "The international community - the Holy Father said - cannot forget the suffering of many parts of the African continent, especially in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, where the right to life is threatened by the indiscriminate exploitation of resources, terrorism, the proliferation of armed groups and protracted conflicts". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2018)