Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The general climate in the eastern part of the Country is characterized by insecurity and unbearable misery. The report clearly shows that the goal of all this is the balkanization of our Country", said Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa, during a press conference held in Kinshasa on Friday 3 January 2020, in which he illustrated his pastoral visit to the diocese of Butembo-Beni in North Kivu from 27 to 31 December 2019 (see Fides, 3/1/2020).
Cardinal Ambongo went to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the invitation of His Exc. Mgr. Melchizedek Paluku Sikuli, Bishop of the diocese of Butembo-Beni. During the visit, the Cardinal communicated Pope Francis’ message of support to the local populations, and to all the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This pastoral concern goes hand in hand with the message sent to the Cardinal by the deputies of this part of the Country and by the members of the Nande community who live in Kinshasa, who had previously visited him.
Daily massacres, rapes, kidnappings, displacements of populations and other gruesome details characterize the climate of insecurity, according to the Cardinal's observation. At least 5 priests have been kidnapped and of whom there is no news. The Cardinal deplored the silence and indifference of the rest of the Country on what is happening in the east, and stigmatized the ambiguity of the international community in the face of this situation that has lasted for decades.
Finally, Cardinal Ambongo invited the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to review the management of its operations, given that some massacres took place a few meters from the deployments of the Blue Helmets.
"The country is at war! And for this reason, there must be national awareness. However, despite this desolate image, we remain confident".
The thesis of balkanization is confirmed by the fact that displaced populations are systematically replaced by Rwandan and Ugandan groups, said Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo. The Cardinal expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis who closely follows the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and who often prays for this Country and said he was confident of the support of the Catholic Church throughout the world and of the collaboration of the Episcopal Conferences of the neighboring countries, so that peace can be achieved in the eastern part of the DRC. (M.B.P.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2020)