Catholics Will March Against Insecurity in Eastern DR Congo

Plans are underway for a peaceful march against insecurity in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be undertaken by the country’s Catholic Diocese of Wamba.

Newsroom (16/11/2022 9:10 PM, Gaudium Press) — In a statement issued, Monday, November 14, Bishop Janvier Kataka Luvete announced the march that will take place on December 4, saying, “The Diocese of Wamba will be organizing a peaceful march against insecurity in the Eastern part of our country and to pray for a return to peace.”

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

 The Congolese Bishop continued, “We must show that those who are in the East of the neighbouring 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.”

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

In his November 14 statement, the Local Ordinary of Wamba Diocese invited the people of God in the Eastern part of the country to remain united despite the challenges they face.

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“We want peace and unity so that every farmer can sleep peacefully,” the 75-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Wamba Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in June 1997 says.

On the logistics during the planned peaceful march, the people say that Parish Priests “will tell you what we are planning.”

“Remain attentive to the orientations that will be given in this sense by the Parish Priests,” Bishop Kataka further says, and emphasizes, “It is a peaceful march. We don’t want to throw stones.”

On November 10, Catholic Bishops in DRC expressed concern about insecurity in the Central African nation 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.

The Catholic Church leaders called on Félix Tshisekedi-led government to see to it that the most basic right to life is protected, the security of all citizens is guaranteed, and the territorial integrity of the country is safeguarded.

– Raju Hasmukh with files from ACI Africa

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