Congolese Cardinal Urges Youth to “show solidarity” with the Displaced amid Insecurity

A poster announcing the Diocesan Youth in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa in DR Congo. Credit: Archdiocese of Kinshasa

The Archbishop of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has urged young people in his Episcopal See to be in solidarity with the displaced persons amid insecurity in the Eastern part of the country.

In his November 20 homily during Holy Mass marking the Diocesan Youth Day in Kinshasa Archdiocese,  Fridolin Besungu Cardinal Ambongo also invited young people to participate in a peaceful march scheduled for December 4.

“At this precise moment in our national history, a part of the East of our country is occupied by the M23 rebels with the military support of Rwanda and even Uganda,” Cardinal Ambongo said. 

In addition to the loss of human lives in the army and civilians, the Congolese Cardinal said, “This occupation has led to the massive displacement of people, not only from the East, but also very close to us here, in the territory of Kwamouth and the surrounding territories.”

“We are all invited to fast, to pray, and to show solidarity with the displaced people of our country,” Cardinal Ambongo said November 20, the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.


He invited young people to participate in a peaceful march on December 4 “to defeat those who covet our beautiful and rich country.”

The Central African nation has been experiencing violent clashes in the East, particularly in the Ituri, Kasai, and Kivu regions, Global Conflict Tracker has reported.

Dozens of armed groups are believed to operate in the Eastern region of DRC despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers.

In his November 20 homily, the Archbishop of Kinshasa who doubles as the First Vice President  of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said, “At present, many young people like you are wandering from East to West like hunted animals.” 

“That is why your Fathers, the Bishops of Congo, have sounded the alarm by saying that the situation is critical, our country is in danger,” Cardinal Ambongo said in reference to the message of members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO).

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He added, “Let us not allow the DRC to be balkanized, from north to south, from east to west, as well as in the diaspora; let us all stand up to safeguard the territorial integrity of our country.”

“We hope that you, the youth, will be part of the party to block the road to the enemy of our country and to all those who want to balkanize our country into small states that they can easily manipulate,” the member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M., Cap) who was elevated to Cardinal in October 2019 and appointed to the Vatican’s Council of Cardinals in October 2020 said.

The Congolese Cardinal imparted his blessings, saying, “I bless you all and I wish you all the true happiness that Christ, King of the Universe, who lives in you and through you, and who reigns in your hearts forever, Amen.”

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.