Don’t “fall into trap of enemies of peace”: Catholic Bishop in DR Congo to Goma Citizens

Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele of Goma Diocese in DRC. Credit: Pape en RDC/Facebook

The Catholic Bishop of Goma Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has called on the people of God in his Episcopal See “not to fall into the trap of the enemies of peace” amid insecurity in the Eastern part of the county.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, Monday, June 20, Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele says, “The current conflict between our army, the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the M23 rebels in Rutshuru Territory may push some of us to violence.’

“But let's be careful: let's not fall into the trap of those who want to create chaos in our country in order to serve their personal interests,” Bishop Ngumbi says in the statement dated June 17, and adds, “Let us remain upright and vigilant so as not to fall into the trap of the enemies of peace and of a united and strong Congo.”

“There are even among them enemies of peace who would not like to hear the message of peace and brotherhood that Pope Francis would like to come and announce to us,” the Burundian-born member of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) says.

Fighting between FARDC and the M23 rebels have intensified in recent weeks in the Eastern part of DRC.


On June 13, M23 rebels took control of Bunagana, a city in the Eastern North Kivu Province, from the Congolese military, according to media reports.  FARDC later regained total control of Bunagana on the border with Uganda after fierce fighting with M23 rebels. The fighting has forced several residents of the locality to flee their homes.

In his June 17 statement titled, “Let us not fall into the trap of violence,” Bishop Ngumbi highlights the importance of non-violent methods in resolving conflicts.

“Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught us the Gospel of peace and active non-violence in human relations. Even human wisdom states: Violence is the weapon of the weak and violence leads to nothing but the hospital or the grave,” the 57-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Goma Diocese since May 2019 following his transfer from DRC’s Kindu Diocese says.

He continues, “This is exactly what Goliath experienced before David. He comes to battle heavily armed, sure of himself, filled with rage against Israel and David, but he dies. David, on the other hand, had only a sling, five stones and the name of God.”

“Simplicity triumphs over pride and violence. Non-violence is based on the values of fraternity, respect for others, peace and freedom,” Bishop Ngumbi says.

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Indeed, the Bishop adds, “God never sides with the proud, and the enemy of peace he always confuses. The Lord searches the righteous and the wicked; he hates the one who loves violence.”.

“In this situation of recurrent insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is important to demand peace, a precious treasure that has been denied to us for more than three decades,” Bishop Ngumbi says.

He notes that “it is quite legitimate to support the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) who, day and night, fight courageously to defend the territorial integrity.”

“I can only implore all the divine blessings on them. May God support them and give them the expected and deserved victory,” the Local Ordinary of Goma Diocese says.

He adds, “In our quest for peace and justice for our brothers and sisters who have fallen in these repeated wars, it is important to use great wisdom so as not to fall into the other extreme, and thus come out losers.”


“It is one thing to claim one's right, but another is to proceed properly, taking up the appropriate weapons, those of God, as Saint Paul teaches us: Stand upright, with Truth as your belt, Righteousness as your breastplate, and Zeal to propagate the Gospel of peace as your shoe,” Bishop Ngumbi says in his June 17 statement shared with ACI Africa.

He adds, “While imploring the abundance of divine graces on each one of you, I urge you to avoid ethnic hatred, agitations, exclusion of the other and vandalism.”

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.