Mons. Nshole further said that Catholic Church leaders in DRC are expressing their “condolences and closeness to the grieving families of all parties and recommend all the deceased to divine mercy.”
“CENCO understands the anger of the compatriots who are participating in these protests. Moreover, like them, it believes that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and MONUSCO have shown their limits in their mission to provide security for the population exposed to attacks by armed groups in the DR Congo,” the Secretary General of CENCO said.
While “peaceful protest is a right recognized to every citizen by international instruments and the Constitution of the DR Congo,” he said, CENCO members however caution against violence, arguing that “resorting to violence or looting is an act that can only amplify and perpetuate the evil and the suffering of the population.”
After more than two decades of insecurity, Catholic Bishops in DRC regret the fact that “successive governments and the various United Nations resolutions have not succeeded in neutralizing the national and international armed groups,” Mons. Nshole said.
Armed groups in the Central African nation “continue, with impunity, to wreak havoc on the civilian population of eastern DR Congo,” he told delegates of the 19th SECAM Plenary Assembly who include more than 120 Catholic Bishops from the eight regional associations of the continental symposium.
As a way forward, Mons. Nshole said, Catholic Bishops in DRC “encourage the Congolese State and MONUSCO to carry out a joint investigation so that the conditions in which the violence and looting took place can be brought to light and the perpetrators brought to justice.”
“CENCO recommends that politicians and community leaders refrain from any discourse likely to provoke hatred and violence, especially during this pre-electoral period,” the Congolese Priest said, reading the collective statement of the Catholic Bishops in DRC that was signed by CENCO President, Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa.
He said that CENCO members are urging the Congolese people to “exercise, in all cases, their right to protest peacefully in accordance with the laws of the Republic.”
The Catholic Bishops further encourage the Congolese government “to hold consultations with MONUSCO and civil society organizations in order to establish a diagnosis of the interventions of all parties concerning the return of peace in the eastern part of the DR Congo,” Mons. Nshole said.
“May the Lord, through the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, bless the DR Congo and its inhabitants,” the Secretary General of CENCO implored in his July 27 address at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Conference Center, the venue of the 19th SECAM Plenary Assembly.