AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops: "Where the police behaved professionally, there were no incidents"

Thursday, 25 January 2018 violence   bishops   human rights   civil society  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Where the police behaved professionally there were no incidents". This was underlined by Donatien Nshole, Secretary General of CENCO (National Episcopal Conference of Congo), presenting a report carried out by CENCO regarding the violent repression of the demonstrations organized on Sunday 21st January by the Catholic laity to ask President Joseph Kabila not to run as candidate in accordance with the Constitution and to comply with the New Year's Eve agreements of 31 December 2016.
"There were 12 demonstrations and there were no incidents to complain about", said Fr. Nshole. "So it is possible to organize peaceful demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo if there is the goodwill of the competent authorities" remarked the Secretary General of CENCO.
There are unfortunately 6 confirmed dead. The injured are 127 while 210 people were arrested, including some priests, most of whom were released after a few hours. According to a provisional "technical note" from the Apostolic Nunciature in Kinshasa, 61 parishes were affected by the violence, 40 of them in Mbuji-Mayi and 13 in the capital. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/1/2018)