Archbishop Speaks on Bishops’ Findings on Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda Land Agreements

Archbishop Bienvenu Manamika Bafouakouahou of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Credit: Archdiocese of Brazzaville

The findings of members of the Episcopal Conference of Congo-Brazzaville (CEC) on the two memoranda of understanding and a concession agreement in the agricultural field, which the Republic of Congo and Rwanda signed in April 2022 are the truth and not to deceive the people, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brazzaville has said.

In April 2022, Congo-Brazzaville reportedly granted Rwanda 12,000 hectares of exploitable land in at least three Districts in the South of the country, Africa News reported.

Following the publication of their statement after a working session with the government, on the burning issue of Congolese farmland allocated to Rwanda, CEC members faced criticisms and accusations from Congolese on social media.

Addressing journalists on Monday, May 27, Archbishop Bienvenu Manamika Bafouakouahou said the Bishops “love their people and they love the truth.”

Archbishop Manamika said that the Bishops “have not deceived the people,” and added, “We say what we have seen. And if the others opposite have deceived, that's their problem. If they lied to the Bishops, that's their problem. But we said what we saw.”


“If there are other problems, that's their problem. But we haven't seen that, we've said what we've said. Bishops love their people; Bishops are not corrupt, never,” the Local Ordinary of Brazzaville who doubles as CEC President said.

He continued, “I'm not corrupt, never. I haven't received a penny, I speak from my heart and I'm going to be in the truth. Jesus said: consecrate them in the truth. That's what the Bishops are trying to do.”

“If there's deception anywhere, it's not at the level of the Bishops. When the Bishops say they've seen the texts and the land hasn't been sold; when they say they've seen the texts and the land hasn't been given away, it's the truth of the texts they've seen,” the Congolese Catholic Archbishop said.

Archbishop Manamika emphasized, “We know the suffering of the people, the people are worried, the people want to understand. We also said to ourselves: government, the people want to know, what's going on. We were shown the texts, we were shown the agreements. They didn't sell the land, they didn't do this, so would I deceive you that they sold the land? I can't say otherwise; I'm just saying what I saw.”

He called on the people of God to “pray for the Bishops, pray for the Church, pray for the nation, that someone doesn't deceive you.”

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In their May 24 statement issued following their extraordinary session in Brazzaville, CEC members said that they requested an audience with the Congolese Prime Minister, Anatole Collinet Makosso, on the content of the contested land agreements.

The Catholic Bishops were granted an audience with the Prime Minister, accompanied by seven members of the government on May 23.

After the “serene and fruitful” discussions that lasted two and a half hours, the Prime Minister made available to CEC members “documents and other materials relating to the agreements between the Congo and Rwanda.”

CEC members also received in audience the Rwandan Ambassador to the Republic of Congo.

After examining the details of the agreements, the Catholic Church leaders clarified that “there has been no transfer, sale or spoliation of Congolese land to Rwanda.”


“The protocols signed concern five temporary occupancy authorizations for a renewable two-year period, and one express occupancy authorization decree for a 20-year period,” they further said.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.