Catholic Bishops in Rwanda, Burundi Express Solidarity with the Congolese amid Insecurity

Members of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Rwanda and Burundi (ACOREB). Credit: CEPR

Catholic Bishops in Rwanda and Burundi have expressed their “solidarity and spiritual closeness” with the people of God in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amid reports of persistent violent conflicts and deaths. 

In their collective statement shared with ACI Africa Friday, November 18, members of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Rwanda and Burundi (ACOREB) express “deep concern” about insecurity in Eastern DRC.

“We, Bishops of ACOREB express our solidarity and spiritual closeness with the Congolese people who are prey to murderous violence,” the Catholic Church leaders in the two neighboring East African nations say in their statement dated Wednesday, November 16.

They urge all parties in conflict “to return to the table of dialogue and negotiation in order to resolve their conflicts peacefully without compromising the lives of innocent people.”

ACOREB members further assure the Congolese people of their “closeness and their prayers for the consolidation of peace in the DRC and in the entire sub-region.”


DRC 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 the Central African nation despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers.

On November 14, the Local Ordinary of DRC’s Wamba Diocese announced a peaceful march against insecurity in the Eastern region of the country to be undertaken by his Episcopal See.

“By this peaceful march, we are going to show the world that we are fed up with the repetitive wars in the east of the country,” Bishop Janvier Kataka Luvete said in reference to the march scheduled for December 4.

He added, “It is also a way of expressing our attachment to the unity and integrity of the national territory.”

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The Congolese Bishop further said, “We must show that those who are in the East of the neighboring countries of the DRC, and all those who are in cahoots with the aggressors of Ituri, are in complicity with the destabilization of our country.”

On November 10, Catholic Bishops in DRC expressed concern about insecurity in the country and called for collective action to restore peace.

In their collective statement, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) highlighted cases of insecurity recorded in the country in recent times and called for collective responsibility in view of restoring peace in the country. 

“We are concerned about the deterioration of security in our country and moved by our prophetic mission, sound the alarm on the danger that our country is facing and on the responsibility of all of us,” CENCO members said in their message issued at the end of their November 7-9 Extraordinary Plenary Assembly in Kinshasa.

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.