NEWS ANALYSIS - Cardinal Ambongo: in Congo amidst the crisis and risks of balkanization, the Church alongside the people

Saturday, 28 November 2020 civil society   wars   politics   peace   economy   armed groups  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – With the elevation of Fridolin Ambongo Besungu as Cardinal, Archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Pope Francis - who created 12 Cardinals from this continent, more than any other pontiff - seems to trust Africa more and more and wanted one of the youngest and most representative Cardinals to be next to him, involving him in the Council of Cardinals. Deeply aware of the reality of his country and alarmed by the many problems he is afflicted with, the Archbishop of Kinshasa, interviewed by Fides as soon as he returned to Kinshasa, describes the current situation and the role of the Church in promoting dialogue and peace in Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be one of the most problematic States in the world, plagued by very serious social tensions, conflicts in some of its regions and endemic poverty despite the infinite wealth at its disposal. The government of President Felix Tshisekedi, who took office in the spring of 2019, seems to be blocked, while the dialogue between political subjects, in particular with the faction that refers to former president Joseph Kabila, which should give way to much awaited reforms, has been stagnant for months. The resulting stalemate affects above all the population already burdened by so many problems that in recent years have led Congo to be the third poorest State in the world.
"On a social level - notes the Cardinal - the situation is dramatic, there is no social or economic advancement for the people and the suffering increases more and more. We know that the new government is made up of a coalition which today is divided on many points. The current president and the outgoing one no longer speak to each other and, at the same time, the path of the government is blocked and with it the service to be rendered to the population. The president has recently opened a new phase of consultations, but in the meantime, time passes and people are tired. Thank God, at least the 'Ebola' issue has been circumscribed and the Covid-19 pandemic was not as devastating as we feared: there are not many cases even if we continue to call all our fellow citizens to pay attention and be cautious. But at a socio-economic level the situation is worrying" . (...) - continues