Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Two people killed, hit by bullets fired by the police, 32 wounded, 13 of them hit by bullets, 76 people arrested. This is the toll reported by the General Secretariat of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) on the repression of the third peaceful protest march launched by the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), on Sunday 25 February (see Fides 27/2/2018), to request the application of the 31 December 2016 Agreements.
CENCO reports having received information on the organization in Kinshasa and in some provinces of 149 peaceful marches, 66 of which were stifled in the parochial fenced areas, 67 dispersed due to bullets and tear gas.
CENCO also denounces "the presence, in many parishes, of strange young people who tried to push the demonstrators to go beyond the predefined perimeters of the non violent demonstration, to try to induce them to violent acts"
"CENCO congratulates all the compatriots who peacefully mobilized, refusing any form of provocation to push them to violence, to make their voices heard for the advent of a truly democratic State in our country, without which it would be difficult to dream of development that would guarantee the welfare of the Congolese people. He advised the Congolese to remain upright and vigilant and not to give in to fear or resignation",said a statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
"We condemn the use of force against compatriots, some of whom died and others tortured or wounded without doing anything against the fundamental law that governs the country. At the same time, we pay tribute to the republican and patriotic sense of the police officers".
"CENCO also denounces the exploitation by some political parties of young people to ruin the protest of Christians by introducing violence" continues the statement that also denounces "the occupation of the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Congo, on Saturday 24 February 2018, by young delinquents".
"It is worth remembering that CENCO, working with the Congolese people in the struggle for the rule of law, has no political ambitions, its only concern is to contribute to the well-being of all the Congolese people, to safeguard and promote the dignity of the person, respect for life, freedom and fundamental rights", the statement concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/2/2018)