Catholic Bishop in DR Congo Appeals for Peace, Reconciliation amid Inter-tribal Conflict

Bishop Jean-Pierre Kwambamba Masi of Kenge Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Bishop of Kenge Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has appealed for peace and reconciliation following violent clashes between members of the Yaka and Teke in the territory covered by his Episcopal See.

Addressing journalists Tuesday, September 6, Bishop Jean-Pierre Kwambamba Masi called on the warring communities to give dialogue a chance.

“The contribution of the Church is inevitably the invitation to peace, to reconciliation and the invitation to return to fraternity,” Bishop Kwambamba said.

He added, “I urge both communities to pursue peace, reconciliation, and justice, values that have always marked the relationship between these two tribes.”

“It is our duty, our obligation to promote peace and reconciliation,” the 62-year-old Congolese Bishop who has been at the helm of Kenge Diocese since May 2018 further said, and emphasized, “Violence cannot solve our problems.”


“It is up to us to seek concrete ways of reconciling these two communities,” Bishop Kwambamba said. 

On August 2, at least 18 people were reportedly killed in clashes between the two communities in Western DRC following a dispute over taxes and land.

The clashes took place in Ngambomi village, where members of the Yaka community allegedly attacked and burnt down the residence of the traditional ruler.

Members of the Teke community consider themselves the original inhabitants of villages spread over 200 kilometers along the Congo River.

In his September 6 press conference, Bishop Kwambamba underscored the importance of reconciliation and dialogue, saying, “We have to reconcile and this will help promote the development of the region.”

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“Dialogue is the only solution, we have no other alternative,” the Local Ordinary of Kenge Diocese emphasized. 

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.