AFRICA/DR CONGO - Lay Catholics call for full light to be shed on the death of a civil rights activist

Tuesday, 12 June 2018 elections  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) -The circumstances of the death of Luc Nkulula, an activist of the Movement for Change (Lutte pour le Changement -Lucha), whose charred body was found in his house burned in the night between 9 and 10 June in Goma, capital of North Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), are still uncertain.
According to the members of Lucha, Nkulula was the victim of an attack.
The Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), the lay association of the Congolese Church which organizes the anti-Kabila demonstrations, expressed its "dismay" regarding the disappearance of the activist and called for full light to be shed on his death. Like many other Congolese citizen movements, Lucha participated in the three demonstrations supported by the Catholic Church against the regime of Joseph Kabila on December 31, 2017, January 21 and February 25, 2018, which were repressed by police forces. During the last demonstration Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga, a Catholic activist of Collectif 2016, was killed, another civil society movement that calls for President Joseph Kabila to formally commit himself not to run for a third term in the elections at the end of December.
Last month the CLC in a statement said it was "outraged by the fact that the presidential majority is mobilizing large resources for electoral propaganda when the financing of the entire electoral process through CENI (Independent National Electoral Committee) accumulates delays".
The end of the second and last constitutional mandate of Joseph Kabila in December 2016 led the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a serious political and social crisis with multiple protests organized by the opposition and civil society associations.
The National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO) played a mediating role that led, on December 31, 2016, to the signing of an agreement between the President and the opposition, which, however, was never applied in its entirety. In order to request its entire application, various movements, supported by the Catholic Church, have initiated protest initiatives. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 12/6/2018)