DR Congo: Pax Christi Germany calls for peace and social justice for the DR Congo
2/2/18 - The following message for the media was released as a joint statement of Pax Christi Germany and Lucha in Goma and Berlin, 01.31.2018
The violence a few days ago on 1/21/2018 by units of the national police against Christians and believers who demonstrated peacefully marks a new stage of conflict escalation between the government and the Congolese people, who should be protected. The demonstration in the capital Kinshasa for a return to constitutional order (that is, electing a new president and deputies) through free and transparent elections called for in the spirit of the New Year's agreement of 2016, was dissolved with extremely violent means. Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, Archbishop of Kinshasa and former president of Pax Christi International, condemned the police repression and demands: "Without succumbing to violence, the Catholic Christian community remains strong."
The suppression of Christians holding nothing more than rosaries, crosses and palm branches is proof of the cruelty and irreverent character of the Kabila government against the Constitution. "Do we live in an open-air prison?" asked the Archbishop in his press statement of 22 January 2018.
For five years, the Congolese Lucha initiative committed to fight for a new awareness of Congolese for a Congo of justice and dignity. Lucha has numerous Congolese members, with friends inside Congo and around the world. The German section of Pax Christi supports this nonviolent struggle, as Pax Christi is an international movement worldwide, founded as a movement for peace in the war years after 1945.
We live in a time in which human dignity, fundamental rights and freedoms in the DRC are being trampled by a regime that has exceeded the duration of its mandate since 2016. The Congolese are not dispirited, but long to regain their sovereignty as a people and a nation and save the country. For us it is essential that our protest is active, but at the same time nonviolent.
To prevent these crimes continuing, Lucha and Pax Christi Germany encourage all Congolese and all friends inside of the Congo to recommit to the search for the ideal of peace, social justice and respect for human dignity, through nonviolent civil actions and by the commitment to building a prosperous and democratic state.
Social justice, respect for the human dignity of every Congolese and respect for the Constitution are the most enduring answers to all current challenges of the Congo. We appeal to international and African institutions to stand on the side of the Congolese people in their struggle for the rule of law in the heart of Africa.
May peace and nonviolence prevail - worldwide and especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo!
Contact for the Pax Christi Commission Solidarity with Central Africa
- Jean Djamba and Heinz Werner Wessler at Tel. 030.200 76 78-0; Fax 030.200 76 78-19; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.paxchristi.de
- http://www.luchacongo.org/ (link to French-language version of the text)