Unfortunately, the Bishops regret, “all our appeals through our various socio-political messages have not yet found a consistent response from the people concerned.”
Against this backdrop, the Catholic Church Leaders recommend “a rethinking of the vision, approaches and structures at various levels: political, military, police, intelligence services, humanitarian, and Congo's partners.”
“It is urgent and necessary to move all military officers who have been involved in the various rebellions or armed groups in the East of the country, and to remove from the chain of command and logistics those who are considered to be relay agents for foreign armies,” the members of CENCO’s Standing Committee recommend.
They also “call for the reinforcement of the strength of the regiments” and want them provided “with adequate logistical means, including reconnaissance and attack drones, in order to reduce the loss of human life and material.”
The Bishops further advocate for “the establishment of a permanent framework for consultation for cohesion and peace in the East, led by a multidisciplinary scientific observatory, and the involvement of local leaders in raising awareness for peaceful cohabitation for the consolidation of intra and inter-community dialogue.”
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“We recommend that international partners and countries that are friends of the DRC communicate more about their vision of peace in the country, and that they become involved in strengthening the certification mechanisms for agricultural and mining products that circulate in the region,” they add.
The Bishops also recommend that during this Easter season, the people of God in DRC show “spiritual closeness for the entire community of our brothers and sisters in the East by setting aside a time of prayer for peace in the East of the country.”
“We are all invited to assume our responsibilities and to strengthen our bonds of solidarity and brotherhood,” they reiterate.
“CENCO remains committed to accompanying the process of building peace and social cohesion,” the Bishops indicate in their message and express their commitment to working both internally and externally, to consolidate fraternity between peoples and communities, so that enemies may reach out to one another and adversaries may agree to walk part of the way together.
The Bishops implore, “May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Peace, obtain for us the grace of a lasting peace in DR Congo and in the Great Lakes sub-region.”