DR Congo Situation “not completely clear” Even After Peace Agreement: Catholic Priest

Credit: Agenzia Fides

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “not completely clear” even after the Central African nation signed a peace agreement to end hostilities in Eastern provinces of the country, a Catholic Priest has said.

Facilitated by Kenya’s former president, Uhuru Kenyatta, the November 2022 peace agreements involved DRC leaders, some leaders from the East African Community (EAC), and a representative from the African Union (AU).

The leaders agreed on a ceasefire in the embattled Eastern region of DRC and the immediate withdrawal of the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels from the occupied areas.

In a report by the Information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, Fr. Loris Cattani reacts to the November 2022 peace agreement.

“We are in the presence of a situation that is not completely clear on the effective fulfillment of the November agreements,” Fr. Cattani has been quoted as saying in the report published on Tuesday, January 10.


The member of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers says that the situation is made complex by the presence of the rebels of M23 in other territories despite officially handing over the Rumangabo military base to the military force of the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF).

“Based on the agreements signed on November 25, the M23 officially handed over the Rumangabo military base, in the territory of Rutshuru, but are still in the localities of Kibumba and Buhamba,” says Fr. Cattani.

He explains, “While Rumangabo is located about 35 km from Goma (capital of North Kivu), Kibumba and Buhamba are located about 20 km from the city.”

The Catholic Priest says that the situation is also made complex by the kind of relationship that exists between the Congolese and EACRF forces.

“According to the agreements, the Congolese armed forces cannot enter the areas under the control of the EACRF. And it is not known what relationship there is between the M23 and the soldiers of the African force,” he says.

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The M23, a largely Congolese Tutsi militia, has seized swathes of territory across North Kivu province, edging towards the region's main city of Goma.

The militia group first leaped to prominence 10 years ago when it captured Goma, before being driven out and going to ground. 

The group claims that the DRC had failed to honor a pledge to integrate its fighters into the army, in accordance with the peace agreement signed in 2013 among other grievances.

Since November 2021, the M23 rebel group has increased attacks targeting armed forces in the eastern DRC, while tensions have increased between Rwanda and the DRC.

In April last year, the group allowed for a truce with the government; however, it did not attend peace talks organized in Kenya between the government and armed groups.


In November last year, Catholic Bishops in the Central African nation expressed concern about insecurity and called for collective action to restore peace.

“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,” members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) said in their message issued at the end of their November 7-9 Extraordinary Plenary Assembly in Kinshasa.

Besides deaths, the Catholic Bishops said that there is massive displacement of the population as a result of the conflicts.

“In addition to the loss of human life, both in the ranks of the FARDC (Defense Forces of DRC) and the civilian population, the occupation of these localities has led to massive displacement of the population,” CENCO members said.

They faulted the international community and regional organizations for displaying what they referred to as “a hypocritical attitude” despite having the ability to bring justice to the Central African nation.

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Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.