AFRICA/DR CONGO - Bishops complain of a "standstill" in the Country and death threats against confreres in the episcopate

Thursday, 22 October 2020 bishops   politics   coronavirus   violence  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "We are deeply saddened that our politicians are showing revolting indifference while the country is on the verge of bankruptcy", said the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a message sent to Agenzia Fides in which they denounces "the stalemate in the country due to the political crisis and its consequences. The paralysis of the coalition affects and infects all sectors of national life".
"At a time when the Congolese people are suffering from indescribable misery exacerbated by Covid-19, the ruling coalition parties are devoting their energies to calculating positioning in relation to the 2023 elections in order to maintain or regain power", the Bishops said in the Message published at the end of their Plenary Assembly.
To situation is exacerbated by the wounds of tribalism and conflicts in the community, often fueled by the politicians themselves, who subordinate the skills and competence in managing public affairs to their respective interests".
The political stalemate, to which is added that of the Constitutional Court, in which the quorum required for consultation is lacking, aggravates the severe economic crisis with "a drastic decline in the purchasing power of the population, and thus an increase in poverty and unemployment. The mining sector that the country could rely on is, like many others, plagued by corruption is at the benefit of few individuals, multinationals and 'militarized criminal groups' rather than the population" .
"The security situation is still catastrophic, especially in the east of the country, particularly in the provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu and Tanganyika", the Bishops continued. "We note the strategy of displacement through massacres of the local population, the occupation of land and the control of natural resources",said the Bishops, who "strongly denounce and condemn the death threats made to our brothers in the episcopate, Mgr. Dieudonné Uringi, Bishop of Bunia and Sébastien Muyengo, Bishop of Uvira". In recent months, both have denounced the "Balkanization" of the Democratic Republic of Congo by foreign armed forces, which they claim are stirring up tribal conflicts and rebellions in order to conquer parts of the Congolese country and exploit its wealth.
In conclusion, the Bishops urged people to "remain vigilant". "Let us exercise our voting rights and act to prevent any attempt to seize our right to choose our own leaders and determine the fate of our country". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/10/2020)