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26 Apr 2016 United Kingdom No comments

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Democratic Congo could be ‘plunged into chaos’ warn bishops

The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference has called for respect for the democratic process in order to stop violent protests

Bishops from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have warned that country could be ‘plunged into chaos.’

The country is currently facing a political crisis as the scheduled November elections look uncertain because the current president, Joseph Kabila, is allegedly trying to introduce constitutional reform which would allow him to serve a third term.

Fr Léonard Santedi, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Conference in the DRC said that “Blocking the electoral process creates a worrying situation which risks plunging the country into chaos.”

Fr Santedi is due to visit the United Kingdom this week. Speaking ahead of the visit, he said: “The country is facing a deteriorating socio-economic and security situation, particularly in areas like eastern DRC. At this important moment, we urge political leaders to take action to ensure that violence and bloodshed are averted.”

He continued: “We call on the international community to support the DRC in finding a lasting solution to the political situation, to back democratic electoral process, and support investigations into the recent massacres of communities in Beni and in the North Kivu region.”

“It is imperative that we respect the constitution, particularly regarding the number and duration of mandates of the president of the Republic” added Fr Santedi.

Fergus Conmee, Head of Africa Programmes at Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said: “The situation in the DRC is extremely precarious and the risk of political violence is extremely high. We support the Bishops’ urgent call for peace and democracy at this time.”

The Church is a respected voice in the Democratic Republic of Congo as they try and reach a peaceful solution.


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