Kinshasa, 24 June, 2023 / 9:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Persistent violence in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the emergence of new groups of militia are key concerns of Catholic Bishops in the Central African nation.
In a statement issued at the end of their June 19-22 Plenary Assembly, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) lament, “We are witnessing the persistence and worsening of insecurity, especially in the eastern part of our country.”
Security challenges, alongside “the proliferation of armed groups, are of the utmost concern to us," CENCO members say in their Thursday, June 22 statement.
They also decry the revival of the March 23 Movement (M23) in the country, saying, "With the resurgence of the M23, supported by Rwanda, part of the national territory has been beyond the control of our armed forces for over a year."
"In the same vein," the Catholic Church leaders say, "We are witnessing the emergence and expansion of the Mobondo militia in the western part of our country, which is spreading terror right up to the gates of the capital, Kinshasa."