Catholic Peacebuilding Network

Enhancing the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding

News Items from Central Africa and Uganda

RDC : 14 morts dans un nouveau massacre près de Beni, dans l’est du pays
7 décembre 2014
Jeune Afrique Par AFP

Quatorze personnes ont été tuées à l’arme blanche dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche dans le territoire de Beni, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), a-t-on appris auprès des autorités locales.

Cette nouvelle tuerie attribuée aux rebelles ougandais des Forces démocratiques alliés (ADF) a été commise dans la ville d’Oicha, dans le nord de la province du Nord-Kivu, selon le chef de cité de cette localité et un porte-parole militaire.

Depuis octobre, plus de 200 personnes ont été tuées dans une succession de massacres à l’arme blanche, dans la ville de Beni et ses environs.

“Les assaillants sont venus la nuit. Ils ont tué 14 personnes à la machette et à la hache”, a déclaré à l’AFP Jean-Baptiste Kamabu, chef de la cité d’Oicha, joint par téléphone depuis Goma, la capitale de la province du Nord-Kivu. En outre, deux personnes ont été blessées, et deux autres enlevées, a-t-il ajouté.

L’attaque a eu lieu dans le quartier d’Ahili, à la périphérie nord-est d’Oicha, à une dizaine de kilomètres du centre. Le colonel Célestin Ngeleka, porte-parole de l’opération Sokola 1, offensive militaire lancée contre les groupes armés dans le nord du Nord-Kivu, a confirmé le bilan de 14 morts, tout en indiquant que celui-ci “pourrait être revu à la hausse”. Les soldats, a-t-il expliqué, n’ont pas terminé d’inspecter les lieux et pourraient encore “découvrir d’autres cadavres”.

Plus de 88.000 évacués suite aux violences de la guérilla
More than 88,000 persons displaced by guerrilla violence; no words describe the tragedy and horror

5 décembre / December 2014

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Le nombre des évacués fuyant les violences des forces démocratiques alliées (ADF), un groupe armé d’origine ougandaise mais actif dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (voir Fides 26 novembre 2014) sur les territoires de Beni et de Walikale, en province du Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, est de 88.500. C’est ce qu’affirme la presse congolaise citant des sources des organisations humanitaires engagées dans le domaine de l’assistance aux évacués.

Selon une note envoyée à l’Agence Fides par la Coordination de la société civile locale, les derniers massacres de civils remontent au 1er décembre, lorsque trois personnes ont été tuées à la machette dans la localité d’Eringeti. Il s’agit de deux jeunes filles et d’un adolescent de 12 ans. Trois autres personnes ont été également grièvement blessées dans ce cadre.

« Ces attaques contre les civils interviennent après une série de massacres dans la zone, le dernier remontant au 20 novembre, dans la localité de Ngite. Dans ce cadre, au moins 100 civils avaient été tués à la machette » souligne la note. « La société civile du Nord Kivu n’a plus de mots pour décrire l’ampleur de l’horreur et du drame. Notre Coordination est bouleversée par la spirale de colère froide et de violence armée qui détruit la ville et le territoire de Beni au moment où la MONUSCO (mission de l’ONU en RDC) célèbre ses 15 années de présence dans notre pays » conclut la note. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 05/12/2014)
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More than 88,000 persons displaced by guerrilla violence; no words describe the tragedy and horror

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) –At least 88,500 people have been displaced in the areas of Beni and Walikale, in North Kivu province (east DR Congo). They are fleeing violence from the Alied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group of Ugandan origin now active in the east of the DRC (see Fides 26 November 2014). This is affirmed by the Congolese press citing sources of humanitarian organisations caring for the homeless people.

According to a report sent to Fides by the local civil society coordination office, the most recent massacres of civilians were reported on 1 December, when three people were murdered by machete in the town of Eringeti: the victims were two girls and a 12 year old boy. Three other people were seriously wounded.

“These attacks on civilians follow a series of massacres in the same area: on 20 November, in Ngite, at least 100 civilians were slaughtered with machete” the report says. “The civil society in North Kivu has no words to describe the tragedy and horror. Our Coordination centre is appalled at this spiral of cold blooded anger, armed violence which is destroying the villages and towns of Beni at this time when MONUSCO (UN Mission in DRC) celebrates 15 years of presence in our country” the report ends. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 5 December 2014)

Des démobilisés assistés
27 novembre 2014

Pax Christi International compte octroyer des fonds pour aider les démobilisés et les membres des communautés d’accueil et d’écoute afin qu’ils montent de petits projets de développement. Les bénéficiaires saluent l’initiative.

Des démobilisés en train de suivre une séance d’explication de la manière dont cette aide sera octroyée par Pax Christi International ©IwacuDes démobilisés en train de suivre une séance d’explication de la manière dont cette aide sera octroyée par Pax Christi International ©Iwacu
Selon Claude Nkurunziza, point focal du mouvement catholique Pax Christi International, 25 démobilisés et 10 membres des communautés d’accueil ont été choisis parmi les ex-combattants des FNL et du Cndd-fdd comme groupes modèles. « Nous avons choisi quelques anciens combattants et surtout ceux qui furent enfant soldat pour commencer. »

Ce projet, confie-t-il, a débuté en 2012 et consiste à répondre aux demandes d’assistance des groupes locaux aux prises avec des conflits en leur accordant une attention spéciale. Les démobilisés choisis ont, ensuite, suivi une série de formations sur la violence active et l’intégration sociale ainsi que sur la mise en place des activités génératrices de revenus. La dernière étape sera l’octroi de petits capitaux pour démarrer leurs activités.

S’en est suivie l’élaboration de petits projets qui vont de la vente de l’huile de palme à celle des pièces de rechange pour vélos en passant par la fabrication. « Les démobilisés auront 150 dollars américains chacun tandis que les membres des communautés d’accueil, constitués d’administratifs à la base, auront droit à 50 dollars chacun. »

Dans le souci de rentabiliser leurs activités, M.G., un des bénéficiaires, a suggéré aux autres démobilisés de former de petits groupes de 5 personnes pour penser une activité à réaliser. « Ainsi, nous aurons des capitaux substantiels et la possibilité d’investir dans quelque chose de consistant. »

Congo’s Problems Run Deeper than Oil
21 November 2014
Reuters

Save the gorillas and save the Democratic Republic of Congo, urges “Virunga,” a new documentary from Netflix and enviro-mensches Leonardo DiCaprio and Howard Buffett. The film chronicles the machinations of British oil firm Soco International’s exploratory venture in Congo’s Virunga National Park, while park rangers struggle to thwart them. Read More

DRC: Oil Dispute Takes a Page From Congo’s Bloody Past
15 November 2014
Jeffrey Gentlemen, New York Times

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, Democratic Republic of Congo — The trouble started when a British company suddenly appeared in this iconic and spectacularly beautiful national park, prospecting for oil. Read More

The previous two items originally appeared in the Environmental Peacebuilding newsletter, 25 November 2014

Sakharov laureate Denis Mukwege: “Women’s bodies have become a true battlefield”
26 November 2014
European Parliament News

“Women’s bodies have become a true battlefield and rape is being used as a weapon of war,” said Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege as he accepted the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Strasbourg on Wednesday 26 November. Dr Mukwege was honoured by the European Parliament for dedicating his life to helping thousands of victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

EP President Martin Schulz expressed his admiration and deepest respect for Dr Mukwege’s work as a medical doctor and his campaign for women’s dignity and justice and peace in his country. “The impunity for rape in armed conflicts is something that must be brought to an end,” said Schulz. “It needs to be punished just like every other war crime.” Schulz also welcomed representatives from the 2014 Sakharov Prize finalists present in the public: Ielyzaveta Shchepetylnykova, fromthe Euromaidan movement in Ukraine, and Dinara Yunus, the daughter of Leyla Yunus, founder of the Institute for Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan who is still incarcerated.

“Quest for peace, justice and democracy” In his acceptance speech, Dr Mukwege told MEPs that by awarding him the Sakharov Prize they had drawn “the world´s attention to the need to protect women during armed conflicts, you have refused to be indifferent to one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes of modern times.” However, he warned: “This prize won´t have any significance to the female victims of sexual violence if you won’t join us in our quest for peace, justice and democracy.” Dr Mukwege added: “Together – politicians, civil society, citizens, men and women – we have to draw a red line against the use of rape as a weapon of war.”

Democratic Republic of Congo: “neither at peace, nor at war” “We have spent too much time and energy fixing the consequences of violence. It is time to take care of the causes,” said Dr Mukwege, calling on the EU and its member states to use all instruments available to support resolving the conflicts in the region. “Justice should also be at the centre of the peace process and the fight against impunity should be reinforced,” he said, adding he empathised with every victim. “In every raped woman, I see my wife. In every raped mother, I see my mother and in every raped child, my own children.”

Denis Mukwege Mukwege is an internationally-recognised expert in the treatment of pathological and psycho-social damage caused by sexual violence. The 59-year-old gynaecologist founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1998, when a war took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where today he still treats victims of sexual violence who have suffered serious injuries.

Sakharov Prize The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year the prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzaï, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education. Laureates receive €50,000.

Un réseau criminel constitué de guérilleros et de militaires corrompu responsable des massacres de Beni
The massacres in Beni: carried out by a criminal network made up of guerrillas and corrupt military

26 novembre / November 2014

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Le nombre des victimes des massacres perpétrés sur le territoire de Beni, au Nord Kivu, au cours du seul mois d’octobre est d’environ 120 personnes. Les massacres seraient probablement à attribuer aux forces démocratique alliées (ADF), un groupe armé d’origine ougandaise actif dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, ainsi que le rappelle une note envoyée à l’Agence Fides par le Réseau Paix pour le Congo relative aux derniers épisodes de violence perpétrés dans la région (voir Fides 24/11/2014).

Le document, qui cite un certain nombre d’études récentes, présente un scénario plus complexe au sein duquel les ADF sont souvent utilisées comme paravent de la part d’autres acteurs. « Selon la journaliste Caroline Hellyer – affirme le rapport – il est possible que les récents massacres commis dans le territoire de Beni soient l’œuvre des ADF mais ils pourraient également avoir été perpétrés par des miliciens Mai-Mai (milices locales d’autodéfense ayant désormais dégénéré en groupes de bandits ndr) ayant des liens étroits avec les ADF. Lorsqu’ils ont des intérêts communs, les ADF et certains groupes armés Mai-Mai peuvent en effet coopérer pour se dissocier ensuite lorsque les intérêts communs viennent à manquer. Selon la journaliste, il faut rappeler que les ADF sont présentes en RDC depuis plus de 25 ans et qu’elles ont ainsi créé et maintenu de fortes connexions locales ».

« C’est pourquoi – poursuit la note – les ADF ne constituent pas un groupe armé aux contours bien définis. Les membres des ADF se sont mêlés à la population. Certains d’entre eux peuvent être des voisins de palier. D’autres peuvent être actifs seulement temporairement. En somme, les ADF font partie d’un réseau plus vaste, constitué par des hommes politiques et des officiers des forces armées locales, par des hommes forts et des groupes d’intérêts économiques. Ce réseau criminel a souvent pris le dessus dans certains secteurs du commerce, de l’économie locale, de la société, de l’armée, du monde politique et de l’administration ».

Pour mettre fin à cette situation, il faut ouvrir des enquêtes sur la véritable origine des attaques et des massacres perpétrés sur le territoire de Beni au détriment des populations civiles et poursuivre en justice les auteurs et les complices de tels massacres ; ouvrir des enquêtes sur les malversations concernant les soldes des militaires mises en œuvre par certains officiers de l’armée et sur l’activité commerciale illégale dans laquelle sont impliqués d’autres officiers des forces armées ; effectuer les changements nécessaires au sein de la chaîne de commandement de la zone opérationnelle de Beni, afin de disposer d’un commandement militaire au-dessus de tout soupçon. Les bailleurs de fonds internationaux doivent enfin conditionner leur appui financier et technique au respect des droits fondamentaux et à la lutte contre l’impunité à l’intérieur des forces de sécurité de la part du gouvernement congolais. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 26/11/2014)
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Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – There are about 120 victims due to the massacres perpetrated in the territory of Beni, in North Kivu, during the month of October. The massacres are attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group of Ugandan origin but active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Network for Peace in Congo on the latest episodes of violence in the region (see Fides 24/11/2014).

The document, citing recent studies, traces a more complex scenario in which the ADF is often used as a pretext by others. "According to the journalist Caroline Hellyer – the report says – it is possible that the recent massacres committed in the territory of Beni were carried out by the ADF, but could also have been committed by some Mai-Mai militiamen (local militias of “self-defense”, but have degenerated in bandit groups, ed.) since they have close links with the ADF. When they have common interests, in fact, the ADF and some Mai-Mai armed groups can work together, and then dissociate when there are no more common interests. According to the journalist, it should be recalled that the ADF have been living in the eastern DRC for over 25 years and therefore, have created and maintained strong local connections".

“The members of the ADF have mingled with the population. Some of them may be neighbors. Others may be active only temporarily. In short, the ADF are part of a wider network, consisting of local politicians and military officers, strongmen and groups based on economic interests. This criminal network has often taken precedence over certain areas of trade, the local economy, society, army, politics and administration”.

In order to resolve this situation, one needs to initiate investigations on the true origin of the attacks and massacres perpetrated in the territory of Beni against civilian populations and punish the perpetrators and accomplices of these massacres; initiate investigations into the embezzlement of military salaries by certain officers of the army and on the illegal trade in which other military officers are involved; make the necessary changes in the chain of command of the operational area of Beni, in order to have a military command above all suspicion. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2014)

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Message des Evêques du Congo : « la violence contre les femmes est un crime contre l’humanité »

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – « Dans notre pays en proie à d’interminables rébellions, les femmes et les enfants sont les premières victimes de cette barbarie humaine » écrivent les Evêques de République démocratique du Congo dans un message à l’occasion de la Journée mondiale pour l’élimination de la violence à l’encontre des femmes, célébrée aujourd’hui, 25 novembre.

« La violence contre les femmes – poursuit le document parvenu à l’Agence Fides – est une violation des droits fondamentaux et a des conséquences graves du moment qu’elle peut empêcher les progrès dans certains secteurs, comme l’élimination de la pauvreté, la stabilité des familles, la paix, la sécurité et la lutte contre le SIDA ».

« Protéger la femme signifie protéger la nation – affirme encore le message. En tant que mère, la femme contribue au développement et à l’éclosion d’une société nouvelle. Notre pays, outre les efforts déjà réalisés dans ce domaine, devra tout d’abord soutenir les femmes et les accompagner dans leur lutte pour l’instauration d’une société où leurs droits soient non seulement reconnus mais également appliqués effectivement » concluent les Evêques.

« Les femmes constituent un objectif de la guerre qui se poursuit depuis 20 ans dans l’est de la RDC » expliquait en 2010 à l’Agence Fides Sœur Teresina Caffi, des Missionnaires de Marie (xavériennes) qui œuvre à Bukavu, chef-lieu du Sud Kivu (voir Fides 21/10/2010). « Les viols sont une façon de détruire un peuple. (…) Il ne s’agit pas d’un simple soldat qui, en proie aux instincts les plus brutaux, violente une jeune femme, mais d’un usage systématique de la violence sexuelle pour détruire psychologiquement la population » continuait la missionnaire.

« Quand les femmes sont violentées devant leurs enfants ou quand on force les membres d’une même famille à l’inceste, nous sommes devant des actes délibérés pour anéantir l’humanité des personnes. Nous devons contribuer à diffuser le récent rapport de l’ONU qui dénonce ces faits ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 25/11/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – The Bishops: “Violence against women is a crime against humanity”

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “Due to endless rebellions in our Country, women and children are the first victims of this human barbarity” write the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a message for the World Day for the Elimination of Violence on women, which is celebrated today, November 25.

“Violence against women – continues the document, sent to Agenzia Fides – is a violation of human rights and has serious consequences, since it can prevent the progress in some sectors, such as the elimination of poverty, family stability, peace, security, and the fight against AIDS”.

“Protecting women means protecting the nation”, said the message. “As a mother, a woman contributes to the development and flowering of a new society”. “Our Country, in addition to the efforts already made in this field, will first have to support women and accompany them in their struggle for the establishment of a society where their rights are not only recognized but actually implemented” the Bishops conclude.

“Women are a target of a war that has dragged on for 20 years in eastern DRC”, explained Sister Teresina Caffi, of the Missionaries of Mary (Xaverian) in 2010 to Agenzia Fides (see Fides 21/10/2010). “Rapes are a way to destroy a people. We are not talking about a single soldier who because of his most brutal instincts, rapes a young woman, but of a systematic use of sexual violence to destroy people psychologically”, continued the missionary.

“When women are raped in front of children or you compel members of the same family to incest, we are dealing with deliberate acts to destroy the humanity of people. We need to help spread the recent UN report which denounces these facts”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/11/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Nouveau massacre au Nord Kivu portant à 200 le nombre des personnes tuées sur zone depuis octobre

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Plus de 100 personnes ont été tuées le 20 novembre dans la région de Beni, au Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo. Selon une note envoyée à l’Agence Fides par la Coordination de la Société civile au Nord Kivu, « le massacre le plus épouvantable a eu lieu en plein jour, entre 14.00 et 19.00 le jeudi 20 novembre, dans les villages de Tepiomba et Vemba ».
Selon la note, au moins 200 personnes ont été tuées depuis le 2 octobre dans le cadre d’une série d’attaques qui ont frappé différents villages de la zone. D’autres témoignages envoyés à Fides affirment que les assaillants se sont présentés aux habitants des villages en uniforme de l’armée congolaise sous le prétexte de les protéger. Une fois leur confiance abusée, ils ont commencé le massacre.

La Coordination de la Société civile « se déclare bouleversée par ce énième crime et dénonce les exécutions perpétrées à la machette par les terroristes de l’ADF-Nalu ou par leurs alliés dans la zone de Beni » et invite les forces de sécurité congolaises ainsi que la MONUC (Mission de l’ONU en République démocratique du Congo) à relever le défi lancé par l’ADF-Nalu, le groupe d’origine ougandaise qui sévit depuis longtemps dans la région.

Dans le même temps, les représentants de la société civile demandent aux autorités « un plus grand professionnalisme et une plus grande objectivité afin de ne pas confondre les coupables avec les innocents et que la chasse à l’ADF-Nalu ne soit pas qualifiée de chasse à l’homme par ses détracteurs ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 24/11/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – Another massacre in North Kivu: 200 people were killed in the area in October

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – More than a hundred people were killed on November 20 in the region of Beni, in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Coordination of Civil Society in North Kivu, “the most appalling massacre took place in broad daylight, between 2 and 7 pm on Thursday 20 November, in the villages of Tepiomba and Vemba”.

According to the note, at least 200 people were killed on October 2 in a series of attacks in several villages in the area. Other testimony sent to Fides state that the assailants presented themselves to villageres wearing the regular Congolese army uniform, with the excuse of protecting them. Once they gained their confidence, they started the massacre.

The coordination of civil society “is shocked and denounces the executions perpetrated with a machete by terrorists of the ADF-NALU or by their allies in the area of Beni” and calls on the Congolese security forces and MONUC (UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) to face the challenge launched by the ADF-NALU, the group of Ugandan origin who have long raged in the region.

At the same time, representatives of civil society urge the authorities “greater professionalism and objectivity, so they do not confuse the guilty with the innocent”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2014)

JESAM SOCIAL APOSTOLATE COORDINATION
& THE JESUIT AFRICA SOCIAL CENTERS NETWORK (JASCNET)
PRESS RELEASE

Strategy of Action for Respecting the Standards of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Africa

From 15 to 19 October 2014, the JASCNET (Jesuits Africa Social Centres Network), in collaboration with the CARF (Arrupe Centre for Research and Training), organised a seminar on “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) in Africa.

This seminar is the second organized under the theme “Governance of Natural Resources”, one of the strategic axes of the JASCNET programme. The fist seminar on this theme was held in June 2013 in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic of Republic Congo (DRC). JASCNET had planned to hold the second in October 2014, again in Lubumbashi (DRC), but because of the turmoil caused by the fear of Ebola in the DRC, it was relocated, and took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR).

Participants at this second seminar came from the following organizations: CARF (Arrupe Centre for Research and Training, Lubumbashi, DRC) CEFOD (Centre for Study and Training for Development, Djamena, Chad), CEPAS (Centre of Study for Social Action, Kinshasa, DRC), DIA (Documentation and Information for Africa, Kinshasa, DRC) JCTR (Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, Lusaka, Zambia), JHC (Jesuit Hakimani Centre, Nairobi, Kenya) PREMICONGO (Protection of Miombo Eco-region of Congo, Lubumbashi, DRC), SARW (Southern Africa Resource Watch, Kinshasa, DRC), Silveira House (Harare, Zimbabwe). Some participants also came from Hekima College, and Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), a higher education institution of the Society of Jesus in Africa.

In his opening remarks, the Director of JASCNET reminded participants that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) appealed particular to the five axes of the JASCNET program: human rights, leadership and governance, ecology, migration and Natural resources. Participants were asked to avoid isolating the CSR from other on-going researches and other pending actions in the JASCNET network.

It is in this context that the workshop set out, among other objectives, to train participants on international standards of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to understand the importance of these standards, to provide an overview of requirements for mining and environmental legislation and to develop a strategy of action to achieve an effective advocacy for corporate social responsibility.

During the seminar, participants exchanged ideas on four themes: Corporate Social Responsibility in Africa, the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility by civil society, Corporate Social Responsibility and human rights, and Corporate Social Responsibility and the development of local communities: Case Study of Tenke Fungurume Mining (Katanga, DRC).

Each presentation paper was followed by a group discussion and a plenary session. At the end of the seminar, participants encouraged JASCNET to initiate a newsletter on the governance of natural and minerals resources. They pledged to contribute to its publication by sending articles as a way of exchanging experiences of social centres in this domain. They also identified two actions to be taken by various Jesuit social centres in Africa under the coordination of JASCNET. These are: research on corporate social responsibility themes and lobbying and advocacy actions on Corporate Social Responsibility for the benefit of
local communities.

Nairobi, October 18, 2014.
Rigobert Minani SJ,
Director of JASCNET and Coordinator of the Social Apostolate in Africa and Madagascar.

For more information contact:
Rigobert Minani, SJ. E-mail rigomin@gmail.com Tel. +254 731814512
Ferdinand Muhigirwa, SJ. E-mail muhigirwafsj@gmail.com Tel. +243 512723481

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Appel à l’Union européenne en faveur d’un renforcement des contrôles portant sur les “minéraux de guerre”

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – L’or, le tungstène, l’étain et le coltan constituent les minéraux, utilisés dans une vaste gamme de secteurs, industriels et commerciaux, dont ceux de l’électronique et de l’aérospatiale, qui contribuent à fomenter certains des conflits africains, dont ceux combattus en République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

C’est ce qu’affirme un communiqué envoyé à l’Agence Fides par la Campagne pour la traçabilité des minéraux de guerre, qui a lancé une pétition visant à demander à l’Union européenne un renforcement des contrôles prévus par la proposition de réglementation du commerce des minéraux provenant de zones de conflit, actuellement en discussion devant le Parlement européen.

Les signataires de la pétition, dont le Réseau Paix pour le Congo, demandent aux parlementaires européens et aux membres de la Commission européenne, de modifier le projet de règlement, de manière à remplacer le schéma prévoyant l’autocertification volontaire par un régime obligatoire pour les entreprises. Ceci dans le but de rendre compte publiquement de ce qu’elles ont fait en ce qui concerne l’application du devoir de diligence au sein de leurs chaînes d’approvisionnement, d’élargir le nombre des entreprises couvertes par le projet, jusqu’ici limité aux importateurs, aux fonderies et aux raffineries, pour pouvoir y inclure les principales sociétés commercialisant en Europe le tantale, l’étain, le tungstène et l’or sous la forme de produits finis et d’approuver et de rendre opérationnel le règlement dans les meilleurs délais. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 17/11/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – Stop to minerals of war: appeal to the European Union so that it strengthen controls

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Gold, tungsten, tin and coltan. These minerals are used in a wide range of industrial and commercial sectors including those of electronics and aerospace, which contribute to foment some of the African conflicts, including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC).

This is what is read in a statement of which a copy was sent to Agenzia Fides with regards to the Campaign for the traceability of minerals of war, which has launched a petition calling on the EU to strengthen controls in the proposed regulation of trade of minerals from conflict zones, currently under discussion in the European Parliament.

The signatories of the petition, including the Network for Peace in Congo, ask MEPs and members of the European Commission, to amend the draft regulation, in order to replace the scheme of voluntary self-certification with a compulsory scheme for companies; to allow others to benefit from the project, so far limited to importers, foundries and refineries; to include the major companies that trade tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold in Europe in the form of finished products; to approve and operationalize the regulation as quickly as possible. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/11/2014)

AFRICA/CONGO DR – “We want an investigation into the violence against the clergy in Lodja” asks civil society
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – After more than 20 days since the violent act against two priests and a nun, which took place on 12 and 13 October in Lodja in Kasai Oriental Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see Fides 14/10 / 2014), investigations have not made any progress. This was denounced by the “New Civil Society in Congo” (NSCC) during a press conference in Kinshasa, news of which was sent to Agenzia Fides. “We are concerned about the attack against priests and nuns in Lodja. We see that freedom of expression is threatened by political intolerance in our Country”, said the National Coordinator of NSCC, Jonas Tshombela.
The two priests had read the Message during Mass in which the Congolese Bishops declare themselves contrary to the constitution reform to allow President Joseph Kabila to compete in the election for a third term (see Fides 17/09/2014). Then some young boys attacked the convent of the Franciscan Sisters. A nun was hit.
Jonas Tshombela denounced the impunity of those who committed the crime against the religious: “We deplore the Republic of impunity. (…). These young people, clearly manipulated, what right do they have to touch a nun? It is intolerable. We demand an investigation and that those responsible are brought to justice”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/11/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Nouveaux massacres à Beni et réactions de population exaspérée

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Les massacres se poursuivent à Beni, dans le Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, malgré la visite en ville du Président Joseph Kabila, sur place pour rassurer la population, terrorisée par les violences des guérilleros de l’ADF-Nalu (voir Fides 17/10/2014).

Selon la presse locale, le Dimanche 2 novembre, 14 personnes, dont deux militaires, ont été tuées à l’arme blanche dans les environs de la Paroisse de Gustave de Beni-Paida, sur le territoire de la commune de Ruwenzori.

Le nouveau massacre a provoqué la colère de la population qui est descendue dans les rues de la ville, affrontant la police après avoir incendié les drapeaux des partis de la majorité présidentielle et détruit la statue représentant le Président Joseph Kabila, qui se trouvait en visite à Beni le 29 octobre.

Selon la Conférence épiscopale de RDC, environ 100 personnes ont été tuées le mois dernier par les « présumés rebelles ougandais de l’ADF ». La grave situation présente sur zone avait été dénoncée le 17 octobre par S.Exc. Mgr Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Evêque de Butembo-Beni. Au cours de ces derniers mois, l’armée congolaise, avec le concours des Casques bleus de la MONUC (mission de l’ONU en RDC), était parvenue à placer sous contrôle les principaux groupes de guérillas présents dans la zone, en particulier le M23, mais la recrudescence des actions des rebelles ougandais a fait replonger la population dans la terreur. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 05/11/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – New massacres in Beni, the people are exasperated and protest in the streets

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Massacres in Beni, North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continue, despite the visit of President Joseph Kabila in the city in order to reassure the people, terrified by the violence of the ADF-Nalu guerrillas (see Fides 17/10/2014).

According to the local press, on Sunday, November 2, 14 people, including two soldiers were killed near the parish of Gustave de Beni-Paida, in the municipality of Ruwenzori.

The new massacre provoked the anger of the people who took to the streets, clashing with police after having set fire to the flags of the parties of the presidential majority and destroyed the statue of President Joseph Kabila, who had come to Beni on October 29.

According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the DRC, about 100 people were killed last month by “suspected Ugandan ADF rebels”. The serious situation in the area had been reported on October 17 by His Exc. Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni. In recent months, the Congolese army, along with the peacekeepers of MONUC (the UN Mission in the DRC), had managed to put under control the main guerrilla groups in the area, particularly the M23, but the resurgence of the actions of Ugandan rebels has made the population sink back in despair. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2014)

AFRICA/CONGO DR – Constitutional Amendment: Kinshasa looks at what is happening in Ouagadougou
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The events in Burkina Faso, where President Blaise Compaoré has been forced to relinquish power after 27 years of uninterrupted power, are closely observed throughout Africa, and in particular in those countries where there is the attempt (as that attempted by Compaoré and then failed) to amend the Constitution to allow the Head of State in office to obtain a third presidential term.
This is the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where President Joseph Kabila has proposed to amend Article 220 of the Constitution in order to present himself again in the 2016 election. His project has sparked strong protests of the opposition, civil society, of the local church (see Fides 17/09/2014) and some foreign Countries (like the US and Germany).
Even among the members of the coalition supporting Kabila there are those who oppose the constitutional amendment, such as the MP Jean-Claude Muyambo, a native of Kolwezi in Katanga, the southern Congolese province famous for its secessionist attempt in the ’60s, rich in copper and cobalt. During a visit to South Africa, Muyambo said that the DRC needs stable and democratic institutions, and that the constitutional amendment puts them at risk. “South Africans are about to make significant investments in our Country. If there are riots, their investment will disappear”, he warned.
According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides, the leaders of the central prison in Kinshasa seized the televisions placed in cells to prevent inmates to follow the events in Ouagadougou, for fear of stirring up riots. A delegation from the presidential majority was in the capital of Burkina Faso to observe the strategy of President Compaoré to impose the constitutional amendment. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 03/11/2014)

AJAN – African Jesuit AIDS Network
AJANews 134 – October 2014

DRC: “You need to teach us how to look after ourselves”

“You need to teach us how to look after ourselves. Giving us ideas and skills will do us more good and make us feel more worthy than giving us flour, because then we will realize that we are strong and can do plenty of things for ourselves. What’s more, one of the things that kills us is the lack of activities to fill the time and to fill our minds. Sometimes, because they are idle, our minds wander and stir up memories that we’d like to leave behind.”

Wise and moving words, which prompted a parish program in the city of Kisangani to do more to help its beneficiaries to earn a living.

The Jesuit parish of Christ the King runs Parlons-SIDA (Let’s talk about AIDS), a program that supports some 280 people living with HIV, orphans and vulnerable children in Congo’s Eastern Province.

During an evaluation in October 2013, beneficiaries said they wanted to become more independent. They recognized that they had health problems but nonetheless wanted to take up work, to give them value in their own eyes, to sustain themselves and to forget their problems. So Parlons-SIDA launched income-generating activities (IGAs) to make both project and beneficiaries more self-sufficient.

The Abika program supports the IGAs of 36 people; their work includes farming, baking bread, and the sale of oil, manioc, rice and other food.

What’s more, a piece of land belonging to the parish is being cultivated, yielding a crop of corn, soya, manioc and fruit. Some of this goes to feed those who turn to Parlons-SIDA for help. This has helped many people who were weak and who had stopped their antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) because taking the medication on an empty stomach was making them ill.

However, much as the people want to earn their own living, they still need plenty of help to meet their most basic needs because they are very poor. Parlons-SIDA bought medicines against prescription for nearly 200 people in 2013, mostly antibiotics, vitamins and anti-inflammatory treatment. All the medical tests of beneficiaries were paid for, including CD4 counts and x-rays, and hospital bills too.

The parish project also pays rent and arrears of water and electricity bills, buys clothes and sheets, pays for transport if people lived far from Kisangani and covers the school fees of some orphans and vulnerable children. Homes that are very dilapidated and damaged are repaired.

The Parlons-SIDA team has some simple stated aims. One is that “no one among us should die of AIDS”. But they do lose people: out of 153 supported by the project, nine died in 2013 – some came for help when it was too late, others had stopped taking their medication or were abandoned by their families.

In fact, one of the awful worries tormenting some beneficiaries of Parlons-SIDA is the fear of imminent and ignominious death. They are also plagued by stigma, poverty, physical weakness and opportunistic infections, especially TB. Not surprisingly, many fall into self-blame, discouragement and loneliness. Those who are single long to marry and to have children.

The Parlons-SIDA team offers intense moral support to help people keep their spirits up and to recover both physically and psychologically. Support includes counselling, home visits, shared prayer and Eucharistic celebrations, all geared towards helping people to live in dignity.

The parish project also carries out educational activities to prevent the spread of HIV across the city and its environs. In 2013, Parlons-SIDA reached nearly 8,400 people through awareness activities: seminars, film screenings, radio broadcasts and discussions with youth organised by peer educators. The activities were held in Kisangani and in the remote mineral-rich areas of Banalia and Buta (around 260km from the city); here awareness events targeted artisanal miners in the quarries of Manghi and Lolima.

  • AJANews is published by the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) in English, French and Portuguese and is available free of charge. To subscribe, or to change your e-mail address, please click on Update Profile/Email Address below or write to ajanews@jesuitaids.net.

Fr Paterne Mombé SJ, Publisher & Editor
Danielle Vella, Editor
African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN)
Box 571 Sarit – 00606 Nairobi, KENYA
ajanweb.org

Bishop Pates To Ambassador Feingold: U.S. Bishops Remain Committed To Helping U.S. Government Promote Peace, Prosperity In Democratic Republic Of The Congo

October 17, 2014
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops renew their commitment “to work with the United States Government to promote the peace and prosperity of all the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in an October 16 letter to Ambassador Russ Feingold, special envoy to the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, shared a letter from the bishops of the DRC, in which they called the possible removal of a term limit on their country’s president “a step backward on the road to building our democracy and would seriously undermine the harmonious future of the nation.” Bishop Pates noted to Ambassador Feingold that constitutions have been changed in other nations “as a means to monopolize political power and a nation’s natural wealth.” He added, “This political maneuver excludes political opposition and destroys the peaceful democratic process.”

Bishop Pates urged Ambassador Feingold to take the DRC bishops’ words and actions into consideration in future U.S. policy dealing with that country.

Full text of both letters is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/africa/democratic-republic-of-the-congo/upload/Letter-and-Documents-to-Amb-Feingold-from-Bishop-Pates-on-DRC-2014-10-16.pdf
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AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Prêtre congolais disparu depuis trois semaines dans l’Ituri

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – On est sans nouvelles depuis trois semaines du Père Jean-Berchomans Nguna, un prêtre du Diocèse de Bunia, dans le district d’Ituri, en province orientale, sise dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo. C’est ce qu’a annoncé hier, 27 octobre, l’Evêque du lieu, S.Exc. Mgr Dieudonné Uringi Uuci, dans le cadre d’une conférence de presse. Le Père Nguna se trouvait en convalescence dans la Paroisse de Badia, à 40 Km au sud de Bunia. « Depuis sa disparition, personne n’en a trouvé trace. Toutes les tentatives effectuées par le clergé et par les fidèles pour le retrouver ont été sans résultat » a affirmé l’Evêque. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 28/10/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – A Congolese priest has disappeared for three weeks in Ituri

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – There has been no news of Father Jean-Berchomans Nguna for three weeks, a priest of the Diocese of Bunia, Ituri District, in the Eastern Province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This was announced yesterday, October 27th, by the local Bishop, His Exc. Mgr. Dieudonné Uringi Uuci, during a press conference. According to Mgr. Uringi, Fr. Nguna was convalescing in the parish of Abbey, 40 km south of Bunia. “Since he has disappeared, no one has had any news. All attempts made by the clergy and the faithful to find him have been unsuccessful”, said the Bishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/10/2014)

AFRICA/CONGO DR – The debate on the constitutional reform creates a power vacuum and emphasizes the political instability
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “The discussion on a possible revision of the Constitution creates a vacuum and instability in the political life of the Country and distances the same Congolese political class from the real life of the Country”, says Peace Network for Congo, in a note sent to Fides on the debate on the revision of the Constitution to allow President Joseph Kabila to run for a third term in the 2016 elections.
The Congolese Bishops are contrary to the constitutional amendment (see Fides 17/09/2014), causing a reaction on behalf of the so-called “young Catholics” who have committed some acts of intimidation against the Church (see Fides 04/10/2014).
“The real debate should be on the real problems of the people: education, health, security, disarmament of armed groups, work, infrastructure (roads, airports, drinking water, electricity, …), natural resources, the functioning of justice and public administration, freedom of press and expression, respect for human rights, political pluralism, the organization of transparent and credible elections”, said the Network for Peace in Congo.
“The majority and opposition seem to care almost exclusively of power, the first to keep it and the second to conquer it” says the statement.
“By focusing on issues of power, the political class in general and State institutions in particular, including the Government and Parliament, leave the Country in a political vacuum where many unscrupulous people, including leaders of armed groups, officers, soldiers, politicians and private citizens take advantage, in order to assert their private interests at the expense of the population”, the statement concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 27/10/2014)

DRC: US Prelate Supports Bishops on Presidential Term

KINSHASA, OCTOBER 24, 2014(CISA) – Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, United States, has asked the US state department to support efforts of the Congolese bishops who are opposing the suggested end to presidential term limits in the country.

“As we are both painfully aware, Constitutions have been changed previously in other countries as a means to monopolize political power and a nation’s natural wealth,” Bishop Pates said in a letter to Ambassador Russ Feingold, the US Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on October 16.

“This political manoeuvre excludes political opposition and destroys the peaceful democratic process,” added Bishop Pates who chairs the US bishops’ international justice and peace committee.

The prelate attached a letter from the Congolese bishops signed on September 14, during their ad limina visit to Rome, reported CNA.

“The relevant constitutional article, lays the foundation for the country’s stability and the balance of power in its institutions,” the bishops wrote in part adding. “The happy future of the DR Congo lies undoubtedly in the strict adherence to our Constitution, which is the basic law and foundation of our young democracy.”

“Any change would be a step backward on the road to building our democracy and would seriously undermine the harmonious future of the nation. After all the wars and tribulations that Congo has known, we believe that citizens and politicians, who truly love this country as much as any of us, would avoid sending the nation down a dead end road.”

The bishops further also asked that priests and catechists educate Christians “so that they commit themselves to protecting the nation against any attempt to amend Article 220.”

The country’s current constitution, adopted in 2006, places a two-term limit on the Congolese president; but President Joseph Kabila – who has been in office since 2001 – has raised the possibility that this limit could be amended.

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Appui des jeunes de la société civile du Sud Kivu à la position des Evêques contre la révision de la Constitution

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Les prises de position se multiplient en faveur des Evêques de République démocratique du Congo qui, dans leur dernière Lettre pastorale, se sont déclarés contraires à une révision de la Constitution qui permettrait au Président Joseph Kabila de briguer un troisième mandat présidentiel consécutif (voir Fides 17/09/2014).

La position de la Conférence épiscopale a suscité une série d’intimidations de la part de prétendus « jeunes catholiques », allant de la tentative de remettre à la Nonciature apostolique à Kinshasa une pétition au Pape François (voir Fides 04/10/2014) à l’agression de deux prêtres « coupables » d’avoir lu la Lettre pastorale durant la Messe (voir Fides 14/10/2014).

En réponse à ces actions d’intimidation, les jeunes catholiques et non de la société civile du Sud Kivu (est de la République démocratique du Congo) ont lancé une pétition soutenant la Conférence épiscopale. « Nous récusons donc la démarche de certains jeunes égoïstes manipulés, se disant catholiques mais pour la plus part fils et filles, partisans de ces politiciens qui ont détruit le pays et qui assombrissent l’avenir de plusieurs générations par leurs politiques égocentriques » peut-on lire dans le texte de la pétition, envoyée à l’Agence Fides.

Rappelant que les jeunes représentent 70% de la population congolaise, les signataires invitent les nouvelles générations à éviter de se laisser manipuler par les hommes politiques : « nous sommes le fer de lance de la nation, l’avenir au présent. Pour ce faire, nous devons prendre conscience de la responsabilité qui est la nôtre dans le devenir démocratique de ce pays ».

Les Evêques des Etats-Unis ont, eux aussi, offert leur soutien à leurs confrères congolais au travers d’une lettre adressée par S.Exc. Mgr Richard Pates, Evêque de Des Moines et Président de la Commission internationale Justice et Paix de la Conférence épiscopale américaine, à Russ Feingold, Envoyé spécial américain dans la Régions des Grands Lacs et en RDC. La lettre critique la tentative de Joseph Kabila de chercher à modifier la Constitution. « Cette manœuvre politique exclut l’opposition et détruit le pacifique processus démocratique » affirme l’Evêque de Des Moines. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 24/10/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – The youth of South Kivu with the Bishops against the amendment of the Constitution

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Positions taken in favor of the Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo who in their last pastoral letter oppose to a revision of the Constitution which would give President Joseph Kabila the possibility to run for a third presidential term multiply (see Fides 17/09/2014).

The Bishops’ position has sparked a series of acts of intimidation on behalf of the so-called “young Catholics”. In response to these acts of intimidation, young Catholics and non of civil society in South Kivu (eastern DRC) launched the signing of a petition in support of the Bishops’ Conference of the DRC. “We reject the actions of some selfish manipulated young people, who are mostly supporters of those politicians who have destroyed the Country and that cloud the future of future generations with their self-centered policies”, reads the text of the petition, sent to Fides Agency.

Recalling that young people are 70% of the Congolese population, they are invited to avoid being manipulated by politicians: “We are the tip of the spear of the nation. This is why we must be aware of our responsibility for the future of democracy in the Country”.

The Bishops of the United States have offered their support to their Congolese confreres with a letter sent by His Exc. Mgr. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines and President of the International Commission “Justice and Peace” of the Episcopal Conference of the United States, to Russ Feingold , American special envoy to the Great Lakes Region and in the DRC. The letter criticizes Kabila’s attempt of trying to change the Constitution. “This political maneuver excludes the opposition and destroys the peaceful democratic process”, said Mgr. Pates. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/10/2014)

Reporters sans frontières
http://fr.rsf.org/rd-congo-le-journaliste-congolais-mike-21-10-2014,47127.html

LE JOURNALISTE CONGOLAIS MIKE MUKEBAYI INCARCÉRÉ DEPUIS DEUX MOIS POUR DIFFAMATION

PUBLIÉ LE MARDI 21 OCTOBRE 2014. MIS À JOUR LE LUNDI 20 OCTOBRE 2014.

Poursuivi pour diffamation, le journaliste congolais Mike Mukebayi est en détention préventive depuis le 21 août 2014. L’examen de son dossier n’a pas encore débuté. Reporters sans frontières s’élève contre cette incarcération injustifiée et disproportionnée.

Cela fait deux mois jour pour jour que Mike Mukebayi, l’éditeur de Congo News, un journal paraissant à Kinshasa, a été arrêté. L’homme est poursuivi pour « imputation dommageable » (l’équivalent de la diffamation) après avoir publié, le 18 juillet, un article sur le cardinal Monsengwo intitulé « Monsengwo : honte et opprobre à un cardinal vendu au régime ». John Tshingombe Lukusa, le directeur de publication de Congo News, lui aussi visé par un mandat d’arrêt, est introuvable.

« Sans préjuger du fond de l’affaire ou du bien-fondé de la plainte en diffamation, le fait que l’éditeur d’un journal subisse deux mois de détention préventive pour un simple article est injustifié, déclare Cléa Kahn-Sriber, responsable du bureau Afrique de Reporters sans frontières. Des propos diffamatoires ne font pas d’un journaliste un danger pour la société. Nous demandons que Mike Mukebayi soit remis en liberté et jugé dans le respect de ses droits et de la liberté de l’information. »

Mike Mukebayi est incarcéré à la prison centrale de Makala à Kinshasa. Le journaliste – dont le délai de détention préventive, maintes fois dépassé, n’a cessé d’être renouvelé – a comparu deux fois, demandant en vain une mise en liberté provisoire. Le 16 octobre, la dernière audience a été annulée pour cause d’absence du juge. Quant aux questions de fond, elles n’ont pas encore été examinées, alors que la plainte elle-même pose problème. En effet, selon les pièces du dossier, aucune des personnes qui pourrait s’estimer lésées par l’article n’a porté plainte, la seule charge est une lettre de dénonciation signée par un dénommé Vianney que personne n’a jusqu’alors rencontré ou entendu.

En République démocratique du Congo, l’imputation dommageable entraîne des sanctions pénales. D’après l’article 28 de la loi 96-002 du 22 juin 1996 sur les médias, l’auteur, le directeur de publication et l’éditeur d’un journal sont tous trois pénalement responsables en cas d’article au contenu diffamatoire. Si Mike Mukebayi est reconnu coupable, il encourt une peine allant jusqu’à un an de prison et une amende.

La République démocratique du Congo occupe la 151e place dans le Classement 2014 de la liberté de la presse établi par Reporters sans frontières.

La Croix

Dans l’Est du Congo, les rebelles cherchent à effrayer la population
Plus de cinquante personnes ont été assassinées dans les environs de Beni, au Nord-Kivu, en moins d’une semaine.

19/10/14 – 12 H 46

Des rebelles veulent dissuader la population d’apporter son soutien à l’armée.

Un nouveau massacre s’est déroulé aux environs de Beni, dans la province du Nord-Kivu, au Nord-Est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans la nuit de vendredi 17 à samedi 18 octobre.

Les membres des Forces démocratiques alliées (ADF), rébellion originaire de l’Ouganda voisin, ont assassiné au moins vingt-deux personnes, dont dix femmes et huit enfants, à Eringeti. Cinquante kilomètres au Sud, à Beni, le même groupe avait déjà massacré trente personnes mercredi 15 octobre.

RÉBELLION D’ORIGINE OUGANDAISE

Basée au Nord-Kivu depuis le milieu des années 1990 et composée uniquement de musulmans, l’ADF compterait aujourd’hui quatre cents combattants environ. À l’origine opposée au président ougandais Yoweri Museveni, elle n’a plus commis d’attaque sur le sol ougandais depuis 2007.

Au Nord-Kivu, l’ADF est la cible d’une opération de grande envergure lancée au mois de janvier par les forces armées de RDC (FARDC), auxquelles la Mission des Nations unies dans le pays, la Monusco, apporte un soutien technique – approvisionnement en vivres et munitions, aide à l’évacuation des blessés, partage de renseignement et aide à la planification des opérations…

Malgré de lourdes pertes dans les deux camps, la traque s’est dans un premier temps révélée efficace, l’armée réussissant à chasser les rebelles de la plupart de leurs bastions. Mais elle piétine depuis le décès brutal de Lucien Bahuma, commandant des FARDC au Nord-Kivu, officiellement victime à 57 ans « d’un accident vasculaire alors qu’il assistait à une réunion mixte » d’état-major en Ouganda.

Parvenu à la tête de l’état-major du Nord-Kivu depuis 2012, alors que les FARDC avaient connu une succession de défaites dans la région face à la rébellion du M23, le général Bahuma avait su réorganiser les troupes et s’assurer d’une loyauté jusqu’alors aléatoire.

DISSUASION

« Dans toute organisation, lorsque le chef décède, il y a un petit flottement, et je crois que les rebelles ont profité de ce flottement », explique à « La Croix » Julien Paluku, gouverneur du Nord-Kivu. D’après ce dernier, une volonté de dissuasion explique également la succession récente de massacres. « La population a étroitement collaboré avec les forces armées, et les rebelles veulent décourager cette collaboration-là », ajoute Julien Paluku.

Au sein de l’Est de la RDC, secoué par les conflits armés depuis les années 1990, le Nord-Kivu est la province la plus touchée par les violences. Celles-ci persistent malgré la présence dans le pays, depuis 1999, d’une mission des Nations unies, qui compte aujourd’hui plus de 20 000 casques bleus.

Marianne Meunier

MISE AU POINT DE LA CONFERENCE EPISCOPALE NATIONALE DU CONGO

1. Les Evêques membres de la Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) en visite ad limina à Rome du 11 au 15 septembre 2014 ont adressé aux fidèles catholiques et aux hommes de bonne volonté une lettre dans laquelle ils donnaient leur position au sujet de la révision constitutionnelle et annonçaient le retrait de l’Eglise catholique du Comité d’Intégrité de Médiation Electorale (CIME).

2. Cette lettre a donné lieu à des interprétations diverses et suscité un vif débat dans l’opinion nationale. La CENCO précise qu’en donnant leur position au sujet de la révision ou non des articles verrouillés de la Constitution, les Evêques catholiques, en tant que pasteurs et citoyens congolais, ne se mêlent pas de la politique, mais ils exercent leur droit et leur mission prophétique de veilleurs et d’éveilleurs des consciences (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 76, 5).

3. Fort malheureusement, en certains endroits, en lieu et place des débats citoyens, on a enregistré injures, diffamations, jusqu’aux actes de violence sur des ecclésiastiques. Tel ce qui s’est passé le dimanche 12 octobre dans la Cité de Lodja.

4. La CENCO condamne ces actes d’agression et de barbarie. C’est inadmissible de s’attaquer au personnel ecclésiastique qui, fidèle à sa hiérarchie, exerce son ministère pastoral. La CENCO saisit les Autorités publiques compétentes pour que soit garantie la sécurité des prêtres, des religieux et religieuses, des agents pastoraux, ainsi que des lieux de culte.

5. La CENCO rappelle que la Constitution de la République garantit la liberté d’expression comme un droit inviolable reconnu à tout citoyen. La diversité d’opinions construit la démocratie, tandis que la violence ne peut en aucun cas contribuer à l’édification de la société. La CENCO en appelle donc à un débat d’idées serein, constructif et respectueux des personnes.

6. La CENCO entend également fixer l’opinion sur le fait qu’il n’y a pas de soulèvement d’une partie de fidèles catholiques contre la hiérarchie de l’Eglise, mais bien une manipulation de quelques jeunes non catholiques à des fins inavouées.

7. La CENCO appelle les fidèles catholiques, en communion avec leurs pasteurs, à prier pour la paix dans le pays et le bien-être du Peuple congolais. C’est dans cet esprit qu’elle les invite à prendre part active aux trois jours de prières qui seront organisés du 17 au 19 octobre 2014 dans les paroisses et différentes communautés sacerdotales et religieuses afin que Dieu illumine l’avenir de la Nation, qu’il protège notre peuple, qu’il nous prenne en grâce et nous bénisse (cf.Ps 66).

Fait à Kinshasa, le 14 octobre 2014

Au nom de la CENCO
Abbé Léonard SANTEDI
Secrétaire Général de la CENCO

Publié Mercredi, le 15 Octobre 2014, par
http://www.cenco.cd/index.php?id_art=135

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Forte condamnation de l’agression aux prêtres et aux religieuses ayant eu lieu à Lodja de la part de la Conférence épiscopale

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – « C’est inadmissible de s’attaquer au personnel ecclésiastique qui, fidèle à sa hiérarchie, exerce son ministère pastoral » affirme un communiqué de la Conférence épiscopale de la République démocratique du Congo (CENCO) qui condamne l’agression subie par deux Curés le Dimanche 12 octobre à Lodja, à 750 Km au nord de Mbuji-Mayi, chef-lieu du Kasai oriental. Le même jour, un couvent de religieuses avait été dévasté (voir Fides 14/10/2014). Les deux prêtres avaient été agressés par des jeunes après avoir lu la Lettre pastorale de la Conférence épiscopale au cours de la Messe dominicale, Lettre qui critique la proposition de révision constitutionnelle qui permettrait au Président en exercice, Joseph Kabila, de se présenter de nouveau pour obtenir un troisième mandat consécutif (voir Fides 17/09/2014).

Dans le message publié le 14 octobre, les Evêques affirment que la Lettre pastorale « a suscité un vif débat » mais rappellent avoir exercé leur droit et « leur mission prophétique de veilleurs et d’éveilleurs des consciences ». La CENCO précise en outre que « il n’y a pas de soulèvement d’une partie de fidèles catholiques contre la hiérarchie de l’Eglise, mais bien une manipulation de quelques jeunes non catholiques à des fins inavouées ».

Les Evêques demandent aux autorités de garantir la sécurité des prêtres, religieux et religieuses ainsi que des opérateurs pastoraux et des lieux de culte. Ils invitent également les fidèles à prier pour le bien de la nation. Dans ce but, les Evêques ont organisé, du 17 au 19 octobre, trois jours de prière dans tout le pays « afin que Dieu illumine l’avenir de la Nation ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 16/10/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – Bishops’ strong condemnation regarding the attack against priests and religious women in Lodja

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “It is unacceptable to blame the church personnel who, faithful to the hierarchy, exercise their pastoral ministry”, said a statement from the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) condemning the attack suffered by two pastors on Sunday October 12 in Lodja, 750 km north of Mbuji-Mayi capital of Kasai oriental. On the same day, a convent was devastated (see Fides 14/10/2014). The two priests were attacked by some young people after reading the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference during Sunday Mass which criticizes the proposed constitutional amendment that would allow incumbent President, Joseph Kabila, to stand for election for a third term (see Fides 17/09/2014).

In the message published on 14 October, the Bishops argue that the pastoral Letter “sparked a lively debate”. CENCO also states that “there is no rebellion of the Catholic faithful against the hierarchy of the Church, but a manipulation of some non-Catholic youth”.

The Bishops urged the authorities to ensure the safety of priests, religious men and women and pastoral workers, as well as places of worship. Finally, the faithful are invited to pray for the good of the nation. The Bishops have organized three days of prayer, from October 17 to 19, all over the Country, “so that God may enlighten the future of the nation”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/10/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRICA/CONGO DR

New threats to priests and religious women because of the opposition of the Bishops to the constitutional amendment

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Priests threatened and a nunnery was devastated on Sunday, October 12 in Lodja, 750 km north of Mbuji-Mayi, capital of Kasai Oriental, in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference which criticizes the proposal of the constitutional amendment that would allow the incumbent President, Joseph Kabila, to stand for election for a third term (see Fides 17/09/2014).

The first episode, according to information sent to Fides Agency, occurred in the parish of Saint-Desiré. After reading the message, the priest was insulted and threatened by some young people who attended Mass. The priest was not hurt thanks to the intervention of a policeman who protected him.

Subsequently, in the parish of Sainte-Therese de Nganga, the parish priest who read the Bishops’ message during Mass, was threatened by a group of young people. On the same Sunday some boys attacked the convent of the Franciscan Sisters. A nun was injured.

These serious incidents come after the attempt of a self-styled group of “young Catholics” who want to submit to the Nunciature in Kinshasa a protest petition to Pope Francis for the alleged “interference of the Congolese Bishops in national politics”. The Bishops have denied that these boys belong to Church organizations (see Fides 04/10/2014). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2014)

Anglican Communion News Service (London)
10 OCTOBER 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Anglicans Help Families After Pentecostal Church Massacre

By Anglican Alliance
Bishop Bahati is appealing to churches and partners for prayers and financial aid as the church supports those who have fled their homes after an attack on a gathering at Mutarule Pentecostal Church in South Kivu Province in June 2014.

A brutal attack on a congregration gathered at Muturale Pentecostal Church in South Kivu Province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, left 37 women, children and men dead and many more injured as assailants opened fire. The injured, who were celebrating Pentecost at the time, were taken for treatment to hospital in Bukavu and Uvira in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bishop Bahati Bali-Busane, of Bukavu Diocese, has appealed to churches and partners for prayers for peace between the ethnic groups as well as financial support for practical assistance for those affected. The church in Bukavu is sheltering those too afraid to return home, and providing food and medicine to those in need.

Bishop Bahati has prepared this appeal using the Anglican Alliance’s online tool.

Financial support can be sent through the Province of the Anglican Church in Congo (L’Eglise Anglicane du Congo) using the details linked here.

Please make sure to email the Bishop and the Secretary to inform them of your donation and please copy your message to the Anglican Alliance at anglicanalliance@aco.org

In a report sent to the Anglican Alliance, Bishop Bahati said:

“On June 6th, 2014 at 8PM, a massacre has been done against the people of Mutarule village of Pleine de la Ruzizi located between Bukavu and Uvira towns of South Kivu Province in D.R. Congo. The night of Pentecost (June 6th 2014), a group of militias having guns, knives, pangas, etc. have attacked the Christians gathering for prayer in the Mtarule Pentecostal Church. They have killed men, women and children. 37 people were killed but others have been seriously injured. They are now in Bukavu and Uvira hospitals for treatment.”

He continued:

“This event has caused the massive displacement of Mutarule people who are now living with neither shelters nor food and any other kind of supplies. On June 21st 2014, the Governor of South Kivu Province has invited the Church Leaders of South Kivu, asking them to mobilise the people by preaching a message of peace and reconciliation between the different tribes in conflict. But also, for nowadays, the people of Mutarule need assistance of food, medicines, clothes etc. as they live in displacement. Therefore, we are submitting this report to our dear friends and partners to require your prayers and any kind of assistance in favour of the victims of Mutarule massacre. The people of South province in D.R. Congo need prayers for peace between tribes.”

Révision constitutionnelle: des jeunes ont menacé deux curés catholiques à Lodja

Radio Okapi | Denière mise à jour le 13 octobre, 2014 à 4:28

Des jeunes ont menacé, dimanche 12 octobre en pleine messe, deux curés catholiques dans la cité de Lodja, située à environ 750 Km au Nord de Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental). Ils ont reproché à ces deux prélats catholiques d’avoir lu, en plein culte dominical, la lettre de la Conférence épiscopale nationale du Congo (Cenco) qui invite les fidèles à s’opposer à la révision constitutionnelle.

Tout a commencé à la Paroisse Saint-Désiré. Après avoir lu le message des évêques, l’abbé-curé a été injurié et menacé par des jeunes qui assistaient à cet office religieux. Il a réussi à s’échapper grâce à l’intervention d’un officier de la police nationale avant que son intégrité physique ne soit violé.

A la Paroisse Sainte-Thérése de Nganga, un autre scénario du même genre s’est déroulé lors de la messe dominicale. Là, l’abbé-curé a été menacé par un groupe de jeunes à la sortie de la messe pour avoir lu le message de la Cenco contre la révision constitutionnelle.

Dans une déclaration publiée en septembre dernier, les évêques catholiques ont réaffirmé leur opposition à la révision de la constitution en RDC. Depuis Rome où ils séjournaient, ils ont notamment invité les curés et les catéchistes à sensibiliser les chrétiens «pour qu’ils s’engagent à protéger la nation contre toute tentative de la modification de l’artcile 220». Cet article irréformable de la constitution congolaise interdit verrouille le nombre des mandats présidentiels fixés à deux et la durée d’un mandat qui est de 5 ans.

Le même dimanche, d’autres jeunes de Lodja ont mis à sac le couvent de sœurs de la congrégation de Saint-François d’Assises.

Selon la sœur supérieure de ce couvent catholique, ces jeunes ont même cassé des vitres de son institution, blessant ainsi une religieuse qui a été admise aux soins à l’hôpital Saint François d’Assises de Lodja.

La police nationale affirme avoir arrêté deux présumés instigateurs de ces attaques.

Début octobre, un autre groupe de jeunes se réclamant de l’Église catholique et de la Majorité présidentielle avait désapprouvé la position des évêques catholiques sur la révision de la constitution. Ces jeunes, une centaine environ, avaient adressé une pétition au pape François à ce sujet et ils avaient déposé leur pétition dans la boîte aux lettres de la nonciature apostolique à Kinshasa.

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Poursuite des violences dans les zones déclarées « libres » de la guérilla par l’armée congolaise

Kinshasa (Agence Fides)- Les guérilleros d’origine ougandaise de l’ADF-Nalu continuent à semer la terreur parmi la population du territoire de Beni, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). C’est ce que dénonce un communiqué envoyé à l’Agence Fides par la société civile du Nord Kivu.

Selon le document, les guérilleros agissent dans des zones déclarées « sûres » par l’armée congolaise qui a, par suite, réduit la présence de ses troupes dans les zones en question.

L’ADF-Nalu est un groupe de guérilla né de l’union de deux mouvements précédents qui se battent contre le gouvernement ougandais, à savoir les Allied Democratic Forces et la National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. En réalité, l’ADF-Nalu plus que combattre sur le territoire ougandais l’armée de Kampala, s’est installé depuis longtemps au Nord Kivu (RDC) et, comme d’autres groupes similaires présents dans l’est de la RDC, se dédie au rançonnage de la population civile et à l’exploitation illégale des ressources naturelles congolaises. Ce groupe est accusé par ailleurs de l’enlèvement de plus de 600 civils parmi lesquels se trouveraient les Pères Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi et Edmond Bamutute, prêtres Assomptionnistes (Augustins de l’Assomption) de nationalité congolaise, ayant disparu le 19 octobre 2012 au soir de leur Paroisse Notre-Dame des Pauvres de Mbau, à 22 Km de Beni (voir Fides 22/10/2012).

Selon la Société civile du Nord Kivu, existeraient par ailleurs des signaux de reconstitution du M23, le groupe armé formellement dissous qui, de 2011 à 2013, avait pris le contrôle d’une importante partie du Nord Kivu. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 06/10/2014)

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    AFRICA/CONGO DR

Violence in the areas that the army has declared “free” from the guerrillas continue

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The Ugandan guerrillas of the ADF-Nalu continue to sow terror among the population in the territory of Beni, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This was revealed in a statement sent to Fides Agency by civil society in North Kivu.

According to the document, the guerrillas operate in areas declared “safe” by the regular Congolese army, that therefore reduced the presence of its troops in those areas.

The ADF-Nalu is a guerrilla group born from the union of the two previous movements fighting against the Ugandan government, the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. In fact, the ADF-Nalu more than fighting against the army in the territory of Uganda against the army of Kampala, has for a long time installed in North Kivu Congolese and, like other similar groups present in eastern DRC, is dedicated to the extortion of the civil population and the illegal exploitation of Congolese natural resources. This group is accused of the kidnapping of more than 600 civilians, among whom 3 Assumptionist fathers (Augustinians of the Assumption) of Congolese nationality, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, who disappeared on the evening of October 19, 2012 from their parish Notre-Dame des Pauvres of Mbau, 22 km from Beni (see Fides 22/10/2012). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/10/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Initiatives de deux Commissions diocésaines Justice et Paix en vue de la réconciliation entre congolais et rwandais

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Les Commissions diocésaines Justice et Paix de Bukavu (chef-lieu du Sud Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo) et de Cyangugu (au Rwanda) ont lancé un certain nombre d’initiatives visant à rapprocher leurs communautés respectives dans la perspective de consolider la paix et la réconciliation entre les deux pays. Les rapports entre les deux Etats sont caractérisés par de fortes tensions depuis au moins 20 ans, suite à la présence de groupes armés d’origine rwandaise sur le territoire congolais et à des disputes relatives à la frontière (voir Fides 12/09/2014).

« Le rôle de l’Eglise n’est pas de prendre les armes, ni de faire de la politique mais de rétablir la paix au travers des armes de l’Evangile que sont la réconciliation, l’amour et le pardon » a déclaré le Père Xavier Bugeme SJ, Curé de la Paroisse Saint Pierre Clavier de de Nguba, à Bukavu.

C’est pourquoi l’Archidiocèse de Bukavu et le Diocèse de Cyangugu ont décidé d’intensifier les activités communes entre les Paroisses, les pasteurs et les groupes ecclésiaux.
Concrètement, ils se proposent de multiplier les rencontres entre fidèles, prêtres, choristes « pour faire tomber les masques de la division et développer des liens de fraternité ». Pourront également être organisés des pèlerinages entre les deux Diocèses, ainsi que des rencontres de jeunes, non seulement congolais et rwandais mais également burundais et ougandais. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 02/10/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – Initiatives on behalf of “Justice and Peace” for reconciliation between Congolese and Rwandans

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The diocesan Commissions “Justice and Peace” of Bukavu (capital of South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) and Cyangugu (Rwanda) have launched some initiatives for reconciliation between the two Countries. The relations between the two Countries have been crossed by strong tensions for least 20 years, due to the presence of armed groups of Rwandese origin in the Congolese territory and for some border disputes (see Fides 12/09/2014).

“The Church’s role is not to take up arms, nor to be involved in politics, but to restore peace through the arms of the Gospel, which is reconciliation, love and forgiveness”, said Fr. Xavier Bugeme Sj, pastor of St. Pierre Claver de Nguba in Bukavu.

For this reason, the Archdiocese of Bukavu and the Diocese of Cyangugu have agreed to intensify joint activities between the parishes, pastors and church groups. What is proposed is to multiply meetings among the faithful, priests, choir members in order “to drop the masks of division and develop the bonds of brotherhood”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/10/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Lettre pastorale des Evêques s’opposant à la révision de la Constitution, « danger pour la stabilité du pays »

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – « L’avenir serein de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) réside incontestablement dans le respect de la Constitution » affirment les Evêques de RDC dans une Lettre pastorale au travers de laquelle ils réaffirment leur opposition – déjà exprimée en juin – à la révision de l’article 220 de la Constitution qui établit entre autre que « le nombre et la durée des mandats du Président de la République ne peuvent faire l’objet d’aucune révision constitutionnelle ».

Un éventuel amendement de cet article ouvrirait la voie au processus permettant de faire passer de deux à trois le nombre maximum des mandats du Chef de l’Etat, ce qui rendrait possible une nouvelle candidature de l’actuel Président, Joseph Kabila, aux élections de 2016.

« L’article 220 jette les bases de la stabilité du pays et de l’équilibre des pouvoirs au sein des institutions. Le modifier signifierait faire marche arrière sur le chemin de la construction de notre démocratie et compromettre de manière grave l’avenir harmonieux de la nation » avertissent les Evêques, qui ont publié leur Lettre alors qu’ils se trouvent à Rome dans le cadre de la visite Ad limina Apostolorum (voir l’entretien accordé à l’Agence Fides par S.Exc. Mgr Nicolas Diomo, Evêque de Tshumbe et Président de la Conférence épiscopale, Agence Fides 15/09/2014). (L.M.) (Agence Fides 17/09/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – “No to the revision of the Constitution, because it puts at risk the stability of the Country”, say the Bishops

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “The peaceful future of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) resides unquestionably in compliance with the Constitution”, say the Bishops of the DRC in a Pastoral Letter which reiterates their opposition (expressed in June) regarding the reform of Article 220 of the Constitution which provides, inter alia, that “the number and term of office of the President of the Republic may not be subject to any constitutional reform”.

An amendment of the article would allow the mandates of the Head of State to increase to three, instead of two, allowing the incumbent President, Joseph Kabila to run for election in 2016.

“Article 220 lays the foundation of the Country’s stability and balance of powers in the institutions. Changing it would seriously compromise the harmonious future of the nation” warn the Bishops, who have published their message while they are in Rome for an Ad Limina visit. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/09/2014)

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Entretien exclusif avec le Président de la Conférence épiscopale : « une Eglise vivante mais qui a besoin d’approfondir sa foi »

Rome (Agence Fides) – « Nous entendons approfondir la foi chrétienne, notamment pour accroître la contribution que l’Eglise apporte au bien-être de la nation » déclare S.Exc. Mgr Nicolas Diomo, Evêque de Tshumbe et Président de la Conférence épiscopale nationale de la République démocratique du Congo (CENCO), qui se trouve à Rome dans le cadre de la visite ad limina Apostolorum, dans un entretien accordé à l’Agence Fides.

Excellence, cette année marque le cinquantenaire du sacrifice de la Bienheureuse Maria Clementina Anuarite Nengapeta. Comment vous préparez-vous à vivre cet anniversaire ?

« Nous finissons actuellement de préparer l’année commémorant le sacrifice de la Bienheureuse, qui débutera au début du mois de décembre. Nous commencerons par un grand pèlerinage. Nous nous rendrons à Isiro, sur le lieu de son martyre pour trois jours de pèlerinage et de prière.

L’année Anuarite permettra de faire connaître la figure de la Bienheureuse, parce que certains fidèles ne la connaissent pas, en particulier les jeunes. La première mission à accomplir en partant des Paroisses et des communautés de base, sera donc de faire connaître la Bienheureuse Anuarite. Cela permettra aux fidèles de s’adresser à elle et de la prendre comme exemple de vie chrétienne ».

Quels sont les défis qui attendent l’Eglise en RDC ?

Notre Eglise est très vitale dans l’expression de la foi et continue à se développer, mais, en tant qu’Evêques, nous désirons enraciner la foi encore plus profondément. Cela parce que nous constatons que, souvent, il existe une espèce de superficialité chez nos fidèles, qui tendent parfois à retourner à des pratiques magiques, comme si la foi chrétienne ne disposait pas de racines profondes.

Ceci vaut également pour les élites intellectuelles et pour les hommes politiques. Une foi profonde leur permettrait d’agir sur la base des valeurs chrétiennes de manière à transformer la politique elle-même. Souvent, nous constatons en revanche, que cela n’est pas le cas. Notre action se concentre donc sur l’évangélisation en profondeur ».

A ce propos, nous faisons remarquer que l’un des problèmes causés par la persistance de croyances païennes est le drame des enfants expulsés des familles parce que considérés comme sorciers.

« Ce drame dérive en premier lieu de la misère dans laquelle vivent de trop nombreuses familles congolaises. Dans ces milieux, la valeur d’un enfant est relativisée au point qu’il est possible d’échanger l’enfant pour obtenir quelques bénéfices matériels. La pauvreté est un défi lancé à l’Evangile. Nous voyons un nombre croissant de jeunes et de fidèles devenir adeptes de sectes dans le seul but de trouver un salut immédiat à cause de la misère dans laquelle ils vivent.

Nous réagissons à ce défi de deux manières : d’un côté, en approfondissant notre foi et de l’autre, en demandant à nos gouvernants de mieux gérer les immenses ressources du pays de manière à faire face à la pauvreté de la population. Le scandale de la RDC est qu’il s’agit d’un pays immensément riche en ressources naturelles mais dont la population vit dans la misère et se trouve être souvent victime de ces richesses parce qu’il existe de véritables prédateurs qui s’en approprient illégalement aux dépens des populations et de l’environnement local, en arrivant même à réduire en esclavage les habitants de régions entières pour exploiter les mines ».

L’Eglise participe-t-elle au processus de désarmement et de démobilisation des groupes de guérilla dans l’est du pays ?

« Le processus de désarmement appartient au gouvernement et aux Nations unies. Une fois désarmés, les anciens combattants – dont nombre sont souvent des enfants – sont accueillis dans nos structures en vue de la rééducation, de l’insertion sociale et en famille et de la scolarisation. Voici ce que nous cherchons à faire dans tous les Diocèses ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 15/09/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO

“A lively Church but the faith needs to be deepened” says President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Roma (Agenzia Fides)- “We intend to work to deepen the Christian faith and also to expand the contribution which the Church can make towards the wellbeing of our country” says Bishop Nicolas Diomo, Bishop of Tshumbe and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO), in Rome for the ad limina visit and interviewed by Fides:

Bishop Diomo this year marks the 50th anniversary of the sacrifice of Blessed Maria Clementina Anuarite Nengapeta. How are you preparing for this event?

“The year to recall Blessed Maria Clementina Anuarite Nengapeta will begin in early December with an important pilgrimage. We will make a three day pilgrimage of prayer to Isiro the place where she was martyred.

The Year will help make Blessed Anuarite better known since many of the faithful, our young people especially, know nothing or very little about her. This is why the first purpose is to make blessed Anuarite better known in parishes and Basic Christian Communities and in this way offer her as an example of Christian life and also as someone to whom we all can pray for intercession for our needs.

What challenges face the Church in the DRC?

Our Church expresses its faith with great vitality as it continues to grow, but we the bishops wish to help the faith take ever deeper root. We note a certain superficiality among our faithful who tend at times to return to magical practices, as if the Christian faith still needs to deepen its roots.

This is true even among intellectuals and politicians. Deeper faith would help them act according to Christian values and in this way transform politics itself. Instead we often see this is not the case. This is why our activity tends towards in-depth evangelisation”.

In this regard we recognise a major problem due to the persistence of pagan beliefs, the tragedy of children accused of witchery and “banished by their families”.

“This drama stems first of all from the dire poverty of too many Congolese families. In this situation it happens that the value of children is relativized to the point that a child is often given away in return for some material goods or benefit. Poverty is a challenge to the Gospel. We see many young people and also our own adult faithful join religious sects to find some immediate material relief from the misery in which they live.

We address this challenge in two ways: on the one hand we strive to deepen the faith and on the other we demand that our government manage better the enormous resources of our country in order to relieve the poverty of our people. The scandal of the DRC is that as a nation it is immensely rich in natural resources but its population lives in situations of dire need and poverty and is often the victim of these riches because of persons we can only call predators who illegally take possession of this wealth at the expense of the people and the natural environment, to the point that inhabitants of whole regions are enslaved for the exploitation of mines.

Is the Catholic Church involved in furthering the process of disarmament and demobilisation of rebel groups in the east of the country ?

“The process of disarmament is the task of the government and the United Nations Organisation. Once disarmed, former combatants (very often children) are assisted by our structures which provide psychological re-education, rehabilitation in society and family and basic instruction. This is a service that we try to guarantee in every diocese”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/9/2014)

BURUNDI: Slain Nuns Given Emotional Send Off

BUJUMBURA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014(CISA) – The bodies of the three slain Italian missionary sisters murdered on September 7 in Burundi were buried on Thursday, September 11 in Bukavu, in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thousands of mourners in Burundi celebrated the sisters’ lives in an emotional and sombre funeral Mass, presided by Archbishop Evariste Ngonagoye of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bujumbura, which took place before their bodies were taken to DRC for burial, reported AFP.

The Mass was attended by over three thousand mourners, including the vice-president and top politicians. Photographs of the elderly missionaries were placed on top of three white coffins laid alongside each other in front of mourners, with candles burning alongside.

“Yesterday morning in Bujumbura, at the funeral of our sisters, we felt comforted by the presence of a vast number of people, from the simplest to the authorities,” Sr Delia Guadagnini, former Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionaries in the DRC and Burundi told Fides News Agency.

According to police reports, Sr Olga Raschietti, 83, Sr Lucia Pulici, 75, and Sr Bernadetta Boggian, aged 79, were attacked and brutally murdered by an assailant in their convent near the country’s capital, Bujumbura.

On Tuesday September 9, Burundian police arrested a man who they say has confessed to the killing of the sisters. However, Sr Delia said that they do not believe the police’s version and that the person arrested “is an excuse to divert the investigation into the killing of our nuns.”

“We do not think that this horrible crime was committed by a single person,” said Sr Delia. “The Lord will judge. However, we will continue with our mission.”

Sr Delia said she would replace the three sisters at the convent.

Pope Francis on Monday September 8 issued his condolences. “The Holy Father begs the Lord to welcome into his kingdom of peace and light these three faithful and devout nuns,” he said in a statement.

Thousands of Mourners Celebrate Lives of Slain Missionary Sisters

Burial Took Place Thursday in Democratic Republic of Congo

By Staff Reporter

ROME, September 12, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Thousands of mourners in Burundi have celebrated the lives of three Italian missionary sisters brutally murdered this week in their convent near the country’s capital, Bujumbura.

The emotional and sombre funeral Mass on Wednesday, presided by Archbishop Evariste Ngonagoye of Bujumbura, took place before their bodies were taken to Democratic Republic of Congo for burial yesterday.

The three sisters, Olga Raschietti, 83, Lucia Pulici, 75, and Bernadetta Boggian, aged 79, were attacked and brutally murdered by an assailant on Sunday.

The Mass was attended by as many as three thousand mourners, including the vice-president and top politicians, according to AFP. Photographs of the elderly missionaries were placed on top of three white coffins laid alongside each other in front of mourners, with candles burning alongside.

The three were buried Thursday in the nearby town of Bukavu, in neighbouring DR Congo, where their order, the Xaverians, has a church.

Police have arrested a man who they say has confessed to the killing of the sisters, although Sister Delia Guadagnini, former Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, told Fides News Agency that they do not believe the police’s version.

Sister Delia said the person arrested “is an excuse to divert the investigation into the killing of our nuns.”

The suspect, Christian Claude Butoyi, 33, has said he killed the three religious because he believed that their convent was built on land that belonged to his family. “We do not think that this horrible crime was committed by a single person,” Sister Delia said. “The Lord will judge. However, we will continue with our mission”.

She added: “Yesterday morning in Bujumbura, at the funeral of our sisters, we felt comforted by the presence of a vast number of people, from the simplest to the authorities. Immediately after the funeral, the journey of the funeral procession began. We were escorted by the police of Burundi to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then, once we crossed the border, we arrived in Luvungi where all three of our missionaries had worked for a long time. There we stopped to celebrate a Mass of suffrage. We left this morning at 6 am, we hope to arrive at 11 for Mass.”

Sister Delia said she herself would replace the three sisters at the convent.

On ZENIT’s webpage:

Pope Receives News of Murdered Sisters With ‘Great Sadness’

Vatican Information Service
vendredi 12 septembre 2014

Visite des évêques de la Répubique Démocratique du Congo

Cité du Vatican, 12 septembre 2014 (VIS). Le Pape a reçu ce matin les membres de la Conférence épiscopale de la République Démocratique du Congo, à la conclusion de leur visite Ad Limina, auxquels il a remis un discours, centré sur le respect de la personne:

L’Eglise de votre pays, écrit-il, “dont certains diocèses ont récemment célébré le premier centenaire de leur évangélisation, est une jeune Eglise. Mais elle est aussi une Eglise de jeunes. Les enfants et les adolescents, en particulier, ont besoin de la force de Dieu pour résister aux multiples tentations issues de la précarité de leur vie, de l’impossibilité de poursuivre des études ou de trouver du travail. Je suis sensible à leur situation difficile, et je sais que vous partagez leurs peines, leurs joies et leurs espoirs. Je pense particulièrement avec effroi à ces enfants et à ces jeunes, enrôlés de force dans des milices et contraints de tuer leurs propres compatriotes! Je vous encourage donc à approfondir la pastorale des jeunes. En leur offrant toute l’aide possible, surtout à travers la création d’espaces de formation humaine, spirituelle et professionnelle, vous pouvez leur révéler leur vocation profonde qui les prédispose à rencontrer le Seigneur. Le moyen le plus efficace pour vaincre la violence, l’inégalité ainsi que les divisions ethniques, consiste à doter les jeunes d’un esprit critique et à leur proposer un parcours de maturation dans les valeurs évangéliques. Il faudrait aussi renforcer la pastorale dans les Universités ainsi que dans les écoles catholiques et publiques, en conjuguant la tâche éducative avec l’annonce explicite de l’Evangile”.

Soyez “dans vos diocèses des apôtres de la jeunesse”.

Dans le même esprit, lit-on ensuite, "face à la désagrégation familiale, provoquée, en particulier, par la guerre et la pauvreté, il est indispensable de valoriser et d’encourager toutes les initiatives destinées à consolider la famille, source de toute fraternité, fondement et première route de la paix. La fidélité à l’Evangile implique aussi que l’Eglise participe à la construction de la cité. L’une des contributions les plus précieuses que l’Église locale peut apporter à votre pays, consiste à aider les personnes à redécouvrir la pertinence de la foi dans la vie quotidienne et la nécessité de promouvoir le bien commun.

De même, les responsables de la nation, en étant éclairés par les pasteurs, et dans le respect des compétences, peuvent aussi être soutenus pour intégrer l’enseignement chrétien dans leur vie personnelle et dans l’exercice de leur fonction au service de l’état et de la société. En ce sens, le magistère de l’Eglise, en particulier l’encyclique Caritas in Veritate, l’exhortation apostolique post-synodale Africae Munus ainsi que la récente exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, constituent une aide précieuse". Je vous invite donc, conclue le Saint-Père à l’attention de ses hôtes, "à œuvrer sans relâche à l’instauration d’une paix durable et juste, par une pastorale du dialogue et de la réconciliation entre les divers secteurs de la société, en soutenant le processus de désarmement, et en promouvant une efficace collaboration avec les autres confessions religieuses. Alors que votre pays va connaître des rendez-vous politiques importants pour son avenir, il est nécessaire que l’Eglise apporte sa contribution, tout en évitant de se substituer aux institutions politiques et aux réalités temporelles qui conservent leur autonomie. En particulier, les pasteurs doivent se garder de prendre la place qui revient de plein droit aux fidèles laïcs, qui ont justement pour mission de témoigner du Christ et de l’Évangile en politique et dans tous les autres domaines de leurs activités…

Beaucoup attendent de vous vigilance et sollicitude dans la défense des valeurs spirituelles et sociales". C’est pourquoi “vous êtes appelés à proposer des orientations et des solutions pour la promotion d’une société fondée sur le respect de la dignité de la personne humaine. A ce sujet, l’attention aux pauvres et aux nécessiteux tels que les personnes âgées, les malades ou les personnes souffrant de handicap, devrait constituer l’objet d’une pastorale adéquate, sans cesse réexaminée. En effet, l’Eglise est appelée à se préoccuper du bien de ces personnes et à attirer l’attention de la société et des autorités publiques sur leur situation. Je salue et j’encourage l’œuvre de tous les missionnaires, des prêtres, des religieux et religieuses, et des autres agents pastoraux qui se dévouent au service des blessés de la vie, des victimes de la violence, surtout dans les régions les plus isolées et reculées du pays. En évoquant ce thème, j’ai une pensée spéciale pour les réfugiés internes et ceux, nombreux, qui proviennent des pays voisins… Soyez des hommes d’espérance pour votre peuple!”.

  • * * * * *

To the bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo: work for a society based on respect for the dignity of the person

Vatican City, 12 September 2014 (VIS) – The education of young people in order to overcome violence and inequality, the participation of the Church in building society and the consolidation of peace and her mission in aid of “those whom life has wounded” were the main issues in the discourse Pope Francis handed to the bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo this morning, at the end of their “ad Limina” visit.

“The Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a young Church”, writes the Holy Father. “However, it is also a Church of youth. Children and adolescents, in particular, need God’s strength to help them resist the many temptations of a precarious life in which they are unable to study or find work. I am sympathetic to their plight, and I know you share their sorrows, their joys and hopes. I think with horror especially of those children and young people conscripted into militias and forced to kill their own countrymen. I encourage you, therefore, to pursue the pastoral care of youth. By providing the greatest assistance possible, especially through the creation of spaces for human, spiritual and professional formation, you can help them discover their deepest vocation that predisposes them to encounter the Lord”.

“The most effective way to overcome violence, inequality and ethnic divisions is to equip the young with a critical mind and to offer them the opportunity to mature an understanding of Gospel values. It is also necessary to strengthen pastoral care in universities and in Catholic and public schools, combining education with the clear proclamation of the Gospel. … Similarly, to face the problem of family breakdown, caused in particular by war and poverty, it is essential to promote and encourage all initiatives to strengthen the family, the source of brotherhood and the foundation and first road to peace”.

“Fidelity to the Gospel also implies that the Church participates in the construction of the city. One of the most valuable contributions that the local church can offer your country is to help people rediscover the relevance of faith in daily life and the need to promote the common good. Similarly, leading figures in the nation, enlightened by pastors and in relation to their skills, can also be supported in incorporating Christian teachings in their personal lives and in the exercise of their duties in the service of the state and society. In this sense, the Magisterium of the Church, especially the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation “Africae munus” and the recent apostolic exhortation “Evangelii gaudium”, are invaluable tools”.

The Pope urges the Congolese bishops to “work tirelessly for the establishment of a just and lasting peace through a pastoral of dialogue and reconciliation among the various sectors of society, supporting the process of disarmament, and promoting effective collaboration with other religious denominations”. He emphasises that at this time, when the country is currently experiencing political events that are important for the future, “it is necessary for the Church to make her contribution, avoiding the risk of becoming substitute for political institutions and temporal realities that must retain their autonomy”. In particular, pastors must be careful not to take on roles that rightfully belong to the lay faithful, whose mission is justly that of bearing witness to Christ and the Gospel in politics and in all other areas of their activities”.

After highlighting the need for collaboration between all pastoral workers in the various fields of the apostolate, especially in education, health and charitable aid, Francis reminds the prelates that there are high expectations of them “in defence of spiritual and social values”, and he urges them to “provide guidance and solutions for the promotion of a society based on respect for the dignity of the human person”. In this regard, “attention to the poor and needy, as well as the elderly, the sick and disabled, should be the subject of adequate pastoral care under constant review”. Indeed, “the Church is called to be concerned with the wellbeing of these people and to bring the attention of society and public authorities to their situation”.

The Holy Father concludes by encouraging the bishops to be “men of hope for the people” and gave thanks for the work of all missionaries, priests, religious and other pastoral workers dedicated to the service of “those who have been wounded by life, the victims of violence, especially in the most isolated and remote areas of the country”, and reserved special mention for “the internally displaced and the many people who come from neighbouring countries”.

Pope Francis’ Ad Limina Address to Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo

“The most effective means to overcome violence, inequality as well as ethnic divisions, is to give the young a critical spirit and to propose a course to allow them to mature in Gospel values.”

VATICAN CITY, September 12, 2014 (Zenit.org) – At 12 o’clock this afternoon, the Holy Father Francis received in audience, in the Hall of the Consistory, the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the occasion of their Visit “ad Limina Apostolorum.”

Here is a translation of the text of the Pope’s address to the Prelates in the course of the meeting:


THE HOLY FATHER’S ADDRESS

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

It is with great joy that I address to Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, and to each of you, my fraternal greetings, on the occasion of your visit ad Limina Apostolorum. I thank Monsignor Nicolas Djomo Lola, President of your Episcopal Conference who, with your sentiments of faithful communion, presented some features of the life of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Your pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, united in their witness to the dead and resurrected Christ to the supreme sacrifice, strengthens your bonds of communion with the Apostolic See, but also among you and with the Bishops of the whole world. In return, manifesting to you wholly my heartfelt appreciation for your dedication and zeal in the proclamation of the Gospel, I would also like to greet and encourage the priests, the consecrated persons and other pastoral agents who collaborate with you, as well as all the lay faithful of your dioceses.

With you, I am grateful to the Lord for the many gifts He has given the Church in your country. Family of God on the way to the Kingdom, it is made up of living communities whose members take part actively in liturgical celebrations and give a courageous witness of charity. According to the beautiful formula of the Psalmist, the Lord gave what is good and our land yielded its increase (cf. Psalm 85:13).

Fidelity to the Gospel implies that the Bishop lead and govern, with wisdom, the flock entrusted to him. The good shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know him (cf. John 10:14). The presence, closeness and stability of the Bishop in his diocese is necessary to reassure the priests and the candidates to the priesthood, and for all the faithful to feel supported, followed and loved.

A major characteristic of the Church in your country is that she finds herself in full growth. It is such joy to see that Christian communities are developing! However, you know that the essential, for the Church, is not first of all a question of numbers but of a total adhesion without reservations to God revealed in Jesus Christ. The quality of faith in Christ dead and resurrected, profound communion with Him is at the base of the solidity of the Church. Consequently, it is of vital importance to evangelize in depth. Fidelity to the Gospel, to the Tradition and to the Magisterium are sure signs that guarantee the purity of the source to which you lead the People of God (cf. Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei, n. 36).

The Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which certain dioceses recently celebrated the first centenary of their evangelization, is a young Church. However, it is also a Church of the young. Children and adolescents, in particular, are in need of God’s strength to resist the many temptations stemming from the precariousness of their life, from the impossibility to purse studies or to find work. I am sensitive to their difficult situation, and I know that you share their sorrows, their joys and their hopes. I am thinking particularly with dread of those children and youths forcefully enrolled in militias and constrained to kill their own compatriots! Therefore, I encourage you to deepen the pastoral of the young. By offering them all the help possible, especially through the creation of places of human, spiritual and professional formation, you can reveal their profound vocation to them, which predisposes them to encounter the Lord.

The most effective means to overcome violence, inequality as well as ethnic divisions, is to give the young a critical spirit and to propose a course to allow them to mature in Gospel values (cf. Evangelii gaudium, n. 64). It is also necessary to reinforce the pastoral in Universities as well as in Catholic and public schools, by combining the educational task with the explicit proclamation of the Gospel (cf. Evangelii gaudium, n. 132-134). Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, I invite you to be apostles of youth in your dioceses.

In the same spirit, given the disintegration of the family, caused, in particular, by war and poverty, it is indispensable to appreciate and encourage all initiatives geared to consolidating the family, source of all fraternity, foundation and first path of peace (cf. Message for the XLVII World Day of Peace, 29014, n. 1).

Fidelity to the Gospel also implies that the Church participate in the building of the city. One of the most precious contributions that the local Church can make to your country is to help people to rediscover the pertinence of faith in daily life and the need to promote the common good. Likewise, the leaders of the country, on being enlightened by the pastors, and in respect of the competencies, can also be supported to integrate Christian teaching in their personal life and in the exercise of their function at the service of the State and of society. In this connection, the Magisterium of the Church, in particular the Encyclical Caritas in veritate, the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae munus as well as the recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, are a precious aid.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, I invite you to work without respite for the instauration of a lasting and just peace, by a pastoral of dialogue and of reconciliation among the different sectors of the society, while supporting the process of disarmament, and by promoting an effective collaboration with the other religious confessions. When your country is going to hold important political meetings for its future, it is necessary that the Church make her contribution, while avoiding substituting the political institutions and temporal realities which keep their autonomy (cf. Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 36). In particular, pastors must take care not to take the place that corresponds by right to the laity, whose mission in fact is to witness Christ and the Gospel in politics and in all the other areas of their activities (cf. Conciliar Decree Apostolicam actuositatem, nn. 4;7). Consequently, therefore, it is essential that the lay faithful are formed , and that you not cease to support them, to guide them and to issue criteria of discernment to enlighten them. In this connection, I do not doubt that you will continue to work to sensitize the public authorities in view to end the negotiations for the signing of an Agreement with the Holy See.

It is to be hoped that, in a spirit of solidarity and sharing, a closer collaboration is developed with all the pastoral actors who work in the different areas of the apostolate and of the social pastoral, in particular education, health and charitable aid. Many expect from you vigilance and solicitude in the defense of spiritual and social values: you are called to propose guidelines and solutions for the promotion of a society founded on respect of the dignity of the human person. To this effect, the care of the poor and the needy, such as aged, the sick or those suffering from handicaps, should be the object of an appropriate pastoral, re-examined ceaselessly. In fact, the Church is called to be concerned with the good of these people and to draw the attention of society and of public authorities to their situation. I greet and encourage the work of all the missionaries, priests, men and women religious and other pastoral agents who dedicate themselves to the service of the wounded in life, victims of violence, especially in the most isolated and remote regions of the country. On evoking that subject, I have a special thought for internal refugees and those, numerous, who come from neighboring countries.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, I would like to reiterate to you all my affection and my encouragement. Persevere in your generous engagement at the service of the Gospel! Be men of hope for your people! May the luminous witness of Blessed Marie Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta and of Blessed Isidore Bakanuja not cease to inspire you! While entrusting you to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, I give you my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing which I gladly extend to your collaborators, priests, religious and laymen, and to each of your dioceses.

[Original text: French]

[Translation by ZENIT]

Read it online |

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Pour la société civile, « les anticipations de la presse rwandaise relatives à la frontière sont provocatrices »

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – La société civile du Nord Kivu qualifie « d’actes visant à la provocation, à l’incitation et à l’intoxication » les anticipations fournies par la presse philo gouvernementale rwandaise à propos des conclusions des experts relatives à la délimitation de la frontière entre le Rwanda et la République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

« Alors que tous attendent la présentation formelle des conclusions des travaux des experts des deux Etats, prévue pour le 15 septembre, nous sommes scandalisés de voir que la presse philo gouvernementale rwandaise lance des proclamations de victoire allant jusqu’à annoncer que la petite barrière constituée par les collines de Kanyesheja et de Hehu, deviendra rwandaise » affirme un communiqué envoyé à l’Agence Fides.

Suite à des affrontements entre les troupes des deux pays pour le contrôle des frontières, le Rwanda et la RDC ont décidé de créer une commission conjointe pour délimiter les frontières, sur la base du traité de 1911 entre les puissances coloniales de l’époque, la Belgique pour le Congo et l’Empire allemand pour le Rwanda.

La commission en question a achevé ses travaux fin août, reprenant les lignes de démarcation originales, dont certaines ont été ensevelies pendant des décennies.

« La coordination provinciale de la société civile au Nord Kivu, attendant sereinement les résultats d’un travail objectif de la part des experts des deux Etats, les invite à présenter honnêtement leurs conclusions » poursuit le document, qui s’achève en exhortant les habitants du Nord Kivu « au calme, dans l’attente de connaître le contenu du rapport approuvé par notre gouvernement ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 12/09/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR

Civil society: “the press in Rwanda is being provocative with regards to the border lines”

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “Actions aimed at provocation and incitement” is how civil society in North Kivu describes the anticipations in the pro-government press in Rwanda regarding the experts conclusions on the demarcation of the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“While everyone is waiting for the formal presentation of the experts conclusions of the work of the two States, scheduled for September 15, we are shocked to read in the pro-government press in Rwanda proclamations of victory to announce that the small barrier, the hills of Kanyesheja and Hehu, will become Rwandan” said a statement sent to Fides Agency.

Following a number of clashes between the troops of the two States for the control of borders, Rwanda and the DRC agreed to establish a joint commission to demarcate the borders, on the basis of the Treaty of 1911 between the colonial powers of the time, Belgium for Congo and the German Empire for Rwanda.

The committee completed its work in late August, tracing the lines of the original demarcation of the border.

“The Provincial Coordination of civil society in North Kivu is patiently waiting for the results of an objective work carried out by the experts of the two States, inviting them to present their conclusions with honesty”, the statement continues, which concludes by urging the people of the North Kivu “to remain calm, and to wait and see the contents of the report approved by our government”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2014)

AFRICA/BURUNDI – Missionaries killed: “We do not believe in the police’s version, however, we will continue with our mission”, says a nun
Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) – “We do not believe in the police’s version. The person arrested is an excuse to divert the investigation into the killing of our nuns”, says to Fides Agency Sister Delia Guadagnini, former Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, who knew the three nuns very well.
The Burundian police said they had arrested the culprit of the murder of the three Xaverian missionaries, Sister Lucia Pulici, Sister Olga Raschietti and Sister Bernadetta Boggian, savagely killed on Sunday, September 7 in the mission of Kamenge, a district in the North of Bujumbura, capital of Burundi (see Fides 08/09/2014; 09/09/2014).
Christian Claude Butoyi, 33, killed the three religious because he believed that their convent was built on land that belonged to his family.
“We do not think that this horrible crime was committed by a single person – says Sister Delia Guadagnini -. The Lord will judge. However, we will continue with our mission”.
The nun continued: “yesterday morning in Bujumbura, at the funeral of our sisters, we felt comforted by the presence of a vast number of people, from the simplest to the authorities. Immediately after the funeral the journey of the funeral procession began. We were escorted by the police of Burundi to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Then, once we crossed the border, we arrived in Luvungi where all three of our missionaries had worked for a long time. There we stopped to celebrate a Mass of suffrage. We left this morning at 6 am, we hope to arrive at 11 for Mass”, says Sister Delia and concludes: “I am going to take the place left by the nuns killed”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/09/2014)

Murderer of Missionary Sisters Arrested

Suspect Has Reportedly Confessed to Killing Three Italian Sisters in Burundi

By Staff

ROME, September 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) – The murderer of three Italian missionary sisters in Burundi has been arrested and confessed to the crime, the Italian news agency ANSA reports.

He was found with the cellphone of one of the victims and the keys to their convent, local police said Tuesday.

Sister Bernadette Boggian, 79, Sister Olga Raschietti, 83, and Sister Lucia Pulici, 75, members of the Xaverian Order, were murdered on Sunday in two separate attacks. All three were from northern Italy.

Godefroid Bizimana, vice director-general of the Burundi police, said that Sister Bernadette was found to have been beheaded in the attacks which apparently occurred several hours apart in the sisters’ convent in the city of Kamenge north of the national capital.

A leader of the Xaverian Order said all three women were in poor health, but their love of Africa and especially Burundi drove them to continue to work there. “We are shocked and very surprised: the local population is as shocked as us,” and coming together to pray for the three women, said Sister Giordana Bertacchini, director-general of the Xaverian Missionaries of Parma in north-central Italy.

ANSA reports that a botched robbery attempt was an early theory for the attack, but this was reportedly dismissed because nothing appeared to have been stolen. Kamenge Mayor Damien Baseka described the murders as “savage”.

The bodies of Sister Lucia and Sister Olga were found on Sunday afternoon, leading to initial reports that only two sisters had been killed. Sister Bernadette’s body was found several hours later. It is believed that Sister Bernadette discovered her two slain colleagues, alerted police and Church officials, and several hours later was herself murdered and beheaded by an attacker who apparently had remained hidden in the convent after the initial violence.

Pope Francis received the news with “great sadness” and sent messages of condolence to the Xaverian Order as well as their families and friends. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi described the crime as “an atrocity that leaves one dismayed at the savagery”.

Vatican Radio said the three missionaries had been working among the sick and poor for seven years in Burundi, a predominantly Catholic country described as one of the five poorest countries in the world. Previously, they had been missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sister Olga had spent 50 years in Africa.

“All three of the murdered Italian nuns had serious health conditions, but all three, almost stubbornly, wanted to be buried in Burundi, a mark of love to the end,” said Sister Delia Guadagnini, former Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary for Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Sister Delia knew the three slain sisters well.

“The three nuns returned to the parish agreeing to take on lighter tasks, because poor health prevented them from their former activities,” she told Fides news agency. "Totally at the service of the people, making home visits, helping the poor the sisters were greatly loved by the people”.

This is why, the former Superior continued, “we cannot understand. In Burundi there was never any misunderstanding and we cannot imagine who would want to hurt us in such an evil manner. What happened is a tragedy and a mystery”.

Regarding investigations Sister Delia said: “The authorities in Burundi are unwilling to comment. They say investigations are underway and some people are being questioned. The local people are dismayed and find no explanation for such a cruel act."

Sister Delia, who is in Uvira (Democratic Republic of Congo) on the opposite side of Lake Tanganica to Bujumbura, went to the mission yesterday morning. “We are going to Bujumbura for the funeral," she said.

“Then we will undertake the long journey to take the sisters’ coffins to the Xaverian cemetery in Bukavu (east DRC) where on Thursday there will be a Mass in the Cathedral. The bodies will not be brought back to Italy. This was the wish of all three of our sister missionaries, and also the desire of the people they loved and served who want to keep them here in Africa. A mark of love to the end.”

AFRICA/BURUNDI – “The murdered nuns asked to be buried in Africa: love to the very end” says former regional Xavarian superior
Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) – “All three of the murdered Italian nuns had serious health conditions , but all three, almost stubbornly, wanted to be buried in Burundi, a mark of love to the end” Fides learned from Sister Delia Guadagnini, former Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary for Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi who knew very well, sister Lucia Pulici, sister Olga Raschietti and sister Bernadetta Boggian, murdered in the mission Kamenge, a northern district of Bujumbura (capital of Burundi), where they served in a parish dedicated to the founder of their Order, Saint Guido Maria Conforti (see Fides 8/9/2014).
Sr Delia explains: “the three nuns returned to the parish agreeing to take on lighter tasks, because poor health prevented them from their former activities. Totally at the service of the people, making home visits, helping the poor the sisters were greatly loved by the people”. This is why, the former Superior continues, “we cannot understand. In Burundi there was never any misunderstanding and we cannot imagine who would want to hurt us in such an evil manner. What happed is a tragedy and a mystery”.
Regarding investigations Sr Delia says: “The authorities in Burundi are unwilling to comment. They say investigations are underway and some people are being questioned. The local people are dismayed and find no explanation for such a cruel act. All we know is that a person seen previously in the area near the parish compound, was seen again leaving the parish after the murder of Sr Bernadetta, passing in front of the window of the only nun not hurt because she had locked herself in”.
Sr Delia, who is in Uvira (Democratic Republic of Congo) on the opposite side of Lake Tanganica to Bujumbura, went to the mission yesterday morning. “We are going to Bujumbura for the funeral. Then we will undertake the long journey to take the sisters’ coffins to the Xaverian cemetery in Bukavu (east DRC) where on Thursday there will be a mass in the Cathedral. The bodies will not be brought back to Italy. This was the wish of all three of out sister missionaries, and also the desire of the people they loved an served who want to keep them here in Africa. A mark of love to the end” concludes the nun. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 9/9/2014)

AFRICA/CONGO RD – Dismay for the death, only months apart, of the two army officers who defeated M23
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “We are orphans since the death of General Lucien Bahuma Ambamba who raised the banner for Congo’s armed forces” says a report sent to Fides by the civil society in North Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the death of commander Bahuma, who led the Congolese army in the victorious offensive against the guerrilla group M23 (seeFides 6/11/2013).
The general died of “cardiac arrest” in a South African hospital where he was taken urgently from Uganda, after suffering a heart attack while taking part in a meeting with Ugandan fellow officers. His death comes only a few months after the killing in an ambush of colonel (now posthumous general) Mamadou Ndala, Commander of Brigade URR (Rapid Reaction Unit, see Fides 15/1/2014). Congo’s civil society calls for an inquiry to clarify the circumstances of the death of the general, whose competence will be greatly missed while eastern Democratic Congo still has to deal with the presence of various other armed groups which harass the people.
These groups include ADF-Nalu of Ugandan origin which, according to Fides’ sources, in late August intensified raids on villages in the area of Beni. The same sources report that a few hundred former combatants of M23 and FDLR who surrendered and were repatriated to Rwanda, have joined the ranks of ADF-Nalu.
Another statement sent to Fides denounced the kidnapping of a professor and secretary general of Kivu University in Goma. The two academics were taken hostage while travelling on a public bus from Goma to Butembo, where they intended to take part in the funeral of a professor of the Graben Catholic University. According to the report this was a targeted kidnapping which followed that of an evangelical pastor last week. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 2/9/2014)

Revue de presse de la CERN du lundi 8 décembre 2014
11 heures ago by admin 0
Douze personnes ont été happées par des crocodiles et des hippopotames pour le seul mois de novembre dernier le long de la rivière Tshilemba à Katanda, a indiqué samedi 6 décembre l’administrateur de ce territoire du Kasaï-Oriental, Crispin Mbiya, signale Radio Okapi. Il s’est dit inquiet de la présence de ces animaux dans cette rivière où les populations de plusieurs localités s’approvisionnent en eau. L’administrateur demande au gouverneur de province d’autoriser le refoulement de ces bêtes.

Le Parc agro-industriel de Bukanga-Lonzo situé à 220 Km sur la Nationale N°1 fait l’objet d’une grande attraction depuis son inauguration. Une mission conjointe, composée des ambassadeurs des USA et de l’Union européenne en RDC, d’une délégation du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) en mission à Kinshasa et des représentants du secteur privé a fait une descente sur le site le samedi 06 décembre 2014. Avec à sa tâte, deux membres du Gouvernement à savoir Jean-Chrysostome Vahamwiti de l’Agriculture et Patrice Kitebi, des Finances. Ces visiteurs de marque n’ont pas tari d’éloge à l’endroit du Gouvernement congolais pour avoir initié ce projet ambitieux qui va, à coup sûr, relever le défi de l sécurité alimentaire au pays de Kabila, rapporte Forum des As.

Dans le secteur des mines, l’Agence Ecofin indique que Mawson West Ltd, possédant une superficie de 7300 km2 en RD Congo, produira au premier trimestre 2015 le premier cuivre de Kapulo, province du Katanga, conformément au calendrier de mise en valeur de ce projet situé dans la corne sud-est de la RD Congo, à environ 15 km de la frontière avec la Zambie. La compagnie minière cotée à Toronto, qui a réduit le coût en capital du projet, a réitéré, le 3 décembre, son objectif, rappelant avoir démarré le commissioning en novembre. Elle se fixe de réaliser, par une exploitation à ciel ouvert, une production moyenne de 19 400 tonnes de concentré de cuivre par an sur la durée de vie de plus de six ans de ce projet

Kinshasa : Le cuivre a rapporté 150 millions USD en 2013 au Trésor public contre 860 millions USD en 1989, souligne le Potentiel qui écrit: Les 883.657 tonnes de cuivre exportées sur 914.631 tonnes de cuivre produites officiellement en 2013 en République démocratique du Congo (RDC) n’ont rapporté que 150 millions USD au Trésor public contre 860 millions USD en 1989 avec une production d’environ 420.000 tonnes. Au premier trimestre 2014, la production de cuivre a été de 492 882 tonnes. L’information donnée récemment aux ateliers du cinquantenaire du Parti lumumbiste unifié (PALU) a étonné les participants qui ont appris dans la foulée que la contribution de l’exploitation du cuivre au Trésor public a dégringolé de 60¨en 1989 à moins de 30% en 2013.

L‘Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP).informe que le « Réseau mines pro population » a plaidé pour la création d’un plan national de développement en République démocratique du Congo par des consultations des acteurs miniers, en vue d’améliorer des conditions de vie des populations vivant dans les zones riches en minerais. Le réseau qui a clôturé ses réflexions vendredi, a recommandé au gouvernement l’identification des opportunités de partenariat public-privé dans le domaine des infrastructures, du renforcement des zones économiques spéciales, une fiscalité attractive et à réserver la fourniture des services exclusivement aux entreprises locales.

Sur un autre dossier, celui de réchauffement climatique, l’édition de Kinshasa de Dépêches de Brazzaville note que la RDC est classée parmi les dix pays les plus menacés au monde et écrit que : En dépit d’une situation générale pas très catastrophique à cause de la localisation du pays dans la zone équatoriale, les premiers signes seraient déjà perceptibles dans l’ouest de la RDC, à Matadi plus précisément (Bas-Congo), mais aussi au sud du Katanga et au nord de l’Oubangui. Dans cette partie du pays menacée, la conséquence directe est l’impact constaté sur les pluies. La Délégation de l’UE en RDC appelle à la mobilisation de l’opinion congolaise sur cette grave question au regard des perspectives très mauvaises.

Source: http://cern-cenco.cd/?p=1371

Revue de presse de la CERN du jeudi 4 décembre 2014
4 jours ago by admin 0
CIRGL: Des femmes en RDC appellent à « accélérer » la révision du Code minier, signale le Potentiel qui note : L’atelier national sur « l’intégration du genre et la promotion de la femme dans le secteur minier en République démocratique du Congo », organisé à Kinshasa par le Mécanisme national de coordination de la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) et financé par l’Union européenne à travers la coopération allemande (GIZ), s’est clôturé mardi 02 décembre 2014 sur un appel au gouvernement congolais à « accélérer la révision du Code minier en RDC ».

Le Réseau parlementaire de protection et de gestion des ressources naturelles dans les zones transfrontalières de la sous-région des Grands Lacs devrait s’atteler à régler les contentieux environnementaux entre la RDC et l’Ouganda, rapporte Radio Okapi. C’est ce qu’a déclaré mardi 2 décembre le président de l’assemblée provinciale du Nord-Kivu, Jules Hakizimwami; deux jours après la clôture à Goma de la 2ème conférence sous-régionale sur le rôle des parlementaires dans la protection des zones naturelles transfrontalières. Selon lui, il y a de plus en plus d’incursions des Ougandais dans certaines zones protégées de la RDC.

L’Agence Congolaise de Presse (ACP) informe que le coordonnateur sous-régional du Bassin du Congo, Mathieu Schwartzenberg, a lancé mercredi, à Kinshasa, un appel à toutes les parties prenantes (gouvernement, société civile, entreprises forestières) à développer la norme nationale FSC (Forest Stewardship council ou conseil d’administration des forêts) pour la certification des forêts en RDC. Cet appel, qui a été fait, à l’ouverture de l’atelier national d’élaboration de la norme national FSC en RDC, est consécutif à l’importance du massif forestier et à la richesse écologique que regorge la RDC. Il a indiqué que la RDC a tout intérêt à élaborer cette norme non seulement pour promouvoir la gestion forestière durable, mais aussi pour sécuriser les exploitants forestiers et des communautés locales dépendant des forêts qui tirent leur revenu de l’exploitation forestière.

3èmes négociations intergouvernementales germano-congolaises: Plus de 50 millions d’Euros pour l’eau et l’électricité en RDC, titre Forum des As qui écrit: Après trois jours de travaux, les 3èmes négociations intergouvernementales germano-congolaises ont abouti à la signature de deux accords techniques entre le gouvernement congolais représenté par le vice-ministre de la Coopération internationale et régionale Dismas Mangbebu et la partie allemande par son ambassadeur en RDC Dr Manig Wolfgang. Une autre signature a porté sur le contrat de financement par le ministre délégué auprès du Premier ministre chargé des Finances, le gouverneur de la Banque Centrale du Congo et l’AD de la REGIDESO avec la Coopération financière allemande KFW. Ce contrat de financement d’une enveloppe de 51.200.000 Euros vise à soutenir les projets prioritaires en RDC qui sont l’eau et l’assainissement, la gestion des ressources naturelles et la micro-finance sans oublier le grand INGA dans les provinces du Bandundu et de deux Kasai. Cette coopération entre l’Allemagne et la RDC porte également sur la consolidation de la paix, les mines, la biodiversité, la santé, l’éducation et l’énergie.

Source: http://cern-cenco.cd/?p=1363

Revue de presse de la CERN du mardi 5 août 2014
4 mois ago by admin 0

Les habitants de Malamba, dans le territoire de Wamba (Province Orientale), dénoncent l’implantation des bornes par la coordination de la Reserve de la faune à Okapis (RFO) devant leur village, informe Radio Okapi. L’implantation de ces bornes, selon eux, bloquerait à la longue l’accès à cette aire protégée. Cette inquiétude a été exprimée vendredi 1ert août à travers une correspondance adressée à la coordination de la RFO à l’issu d’une rencontre organisée par la société civile de Wamba. C’est depuis la mi-juillet, déclare la société civile de Wamba, que la RFO est en train de placer des bornes autour de la réserve de la faune à Okapi, dans la chefferie de Malamba. Des bétons et de pancartes en bois mentionnant “RFO” sont implantés devant les villages qui font face à la réserve.

L’Avenir fait l’écho d’un projet défendu par un étudiant de l’ISIPA portant sur La vidéosurveillance pour une sécurisation maximale du traitement d’eau à la Régideso. Selon le journal, à l’Institut supérieur d’informatique, programmation et analyse, ISIPA (site Shaumba), le jury chargé de la défense des Travaux de fin de cycle (TFC) a apprécié, à l’option Technique de maintenance, un projet propre à placer la Régie de distribution d’eau potable au firmament des Nouvelles techniques de l’information et de la communication, NTIC. En effet, le travail du récipiendaire Christian Sozy Mpiambukulu, est intitulé : « Etude et conception d’un système de vidéosurveillance pour une entreprise : Cas de l’usine de traitement d’eau de N’Djili ».

La Prospérité revient sur la question du bois avec ce titre: « Bois congolais: le Gouvernement insiste sur la traçabilité » et écrit : »Maîtriser la traçabilité du bois congolais, c’est le nec plus ultra pour le Gouvernement de la République qui tient à recouvrer le gros des dividendes dans un secteur où l’intrigue a pris le dessus. L’ordre doit impérativement être établi. Car, déplore le Gouvernement, depuis janvier 2013, le bois rouge est illicitement exploité dans le village Nkala, en territoire de Kambove, dans le Katanga. Voila pourquoi, deux membres du gouvernement, respectivement, dans deux secteurs clés de la République, en l’occurrence, les ministres de l’Environnement et son collègue de l’Economie cogitent ensemble pour assoir de stratégies de lutte contre l’exploitation et le commerce illicites du bois congolais. Bavon N’sa Mputu et Jean-Paul Nemoyato ont, au cours d’une réunion d’évaluation, tenue le week-end dernier, pris l’engagement d’adopter des stratégies pour assurer la traçabilité du bois provenant des forêts de la RDC.

Evoquant les parcs agro-industriels, l’édition de Kinshasa de Dépêches de Brazzaville indique que la RDC veut s’inspirer du modèle chinois. Selon le journal, plusieurs pays se servent aujourd’hui du modèle chinois pour développer leur agriculture et atteindre l’autosuffisance alimentaire dans un contexte d’accélération de la croissance démographique dans la région. La RDC s’en est inspirée pour d’ailleurs pour lancer son projet d’érection des parcs agro-industriels sur l’étendue du territoire national et d’autres encore visant toujours le secteur agricole où elle dispose de grandes potentialités inexploitées.

Source: http://cern-cenco.cd/?p=867

China calls for support for common development in Great Lakes region

English.news.cn 2014-08-08 07:19:53

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — The international community should help the countries in the Great Lakes region to realize common development, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said Thursday.

“The Great Lake region is endowed with rich resources and an enormous development potential,” Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN told a Security Council meeting, noting that the international community should concretely help the countries in the region to realize development and resolve conflict root causes, such as poverty.

Liu said that since the beginning of this year, the situation in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has experienced continued improvement, with the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Eastern DRC and the Region gradually implemented.

Africa’s Great Lakes sub-region has been plagued by decades of political instability and armed conflicts, porous borders and humanitarian crisis, along with tensions over natural resources and other destabilizing factors.

In February 2013, the UN-brokered accord, the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework was reached, with the aim to bring peace and stability to the eastern DRC and the region.

“At present, the Great Lake region has a good opportunity to put an end to its long-term turmoil,” he said.

To help the region achieve sustainable peace, stability and development, Liu said that the international community should also stick to the common security of the region, and policy of cooperation for win-win.

“In the Great Lakes region, the international community should encourage countries concerned to resolve their differences and disputes through dialogues and consultations,” he said.

The envoy said China attaches great importance to its tie with Africa and firmly supports the continent to resolve its issues through its own ways. “We will implement the Initiative on China- Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security in an in- depth manner and increase our support for the construction of collective security mechanism in Africa,” he said.

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Plus de 88.000 évacués suite aux violences de la guérilla

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Le nombre des évacués fuyant les violences des forces démocratiques alliées (ADF), un groupe armé d’origine ougandaise mais actif dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (voir Fides 26/11/2014) sur les territoires de Beni et de Walikale, en province du Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, est de 88.500. C’est ce qu’affirme la presse congolaise citant des sources des organisations humanitaires engagées dans le domaine de l’assistance aux évacués.

Selon une note envoyée à l’Agence Fides par la Coordination de la société civile locale, les derniers massacres de civils remontent au 1er décembre, lorsque trois personnes ont été tuées à la machette dans la localité d’Eringeti. Il s’agit de deux jeunes filles et d’un adolescent de 12 ans. Trois autres personnes ont été également grièvement blessées dans ce cadre.

« Ces attaques contre les civils interviennent après une série de massacres dans la zone, le dernier remontant au 20 novembre, dans la localité de Ngite. Dans ce cadre, au moins 100 civils avaient été tués à la machette » souligne la note. « La société civile du Nord Kivu n’a plus de mots pour décrire l’ampleur de l’horreur et du drame. Notre Coordination est bouleversée par la spirale de colère froide et de violence armée qui détruit la ville et le territoire de Beni au moment où la MONUSCO (mission de l’ONU en RDC) célèbre ses 15 années de présence dans notre pays » conclut la note. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 05/12/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – More than 88,000 persons displaced by guerrilla violence; no words describe the tragedy and horror

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) –At least 88,500 people have been displaced in the areas of Beni and Walikale, in North Kivu province (east DR Congo). They are fleeing violence from the Alied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group of Ugandan origin now active in the east of the DRC (see Fides 26/11/2014). This is affirmed by the Congolese press citing sources of humanitarian organisations caring for the homeless people.

According to a report sent to Fides by the local civil society coordination office, the most recent massacres of civilians were reported on 1 December, when three people were murdered by machete in the town of Eringeti: the victims were two girls and a 12 year old boy. Three other people were seriously wounded.

“These attacks on civilians follow a series of massacres in the same area: on 20 November, in Ngite, at least 100 civilians were slaughtered with machete” the report says. “The civil society in North Kivu has no words to describe the tragedy and horror. Our Coordination centre is appalled at this spiral of cold blooded anger, armed violence which is destroying the villages and towns of Beni at this time when MONUSCO (UN Mission in DRC) celebrates 15 years of presence in our country” the report ends. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 5/12/2014)

AFRICA/DR CONGO – The massacres in Beni: carried out by a criminal network made up of guerrillas and corrupt military
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – There are about 120 victims due to the massacres perpetrated in the territory of Beni, in North Kivu, during the month of October. The massacres are attributed to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an armed group of Ugandan origin but active in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Network for Peace in Congo on the latest episodes of violence in the region (see Fides 24/11/2014).
The document, citing recent studies, traces a more complex scenario in which the ADF is often used as a pretext by others. "According to the journalist Caroline Hellyer – the report says – it is possible that the recent massacres committed in the territory of Beni were carried out by the ADF, but could also have been committed by some Mai-Mai militiamen (local militias of “self-defense”, but have degenerated in bandit groups, ed.) since they have close links with the ADF. When they have common interests, in fact, the ADF and some Mai-Mai armed groups can work together, and then dissociate when there are no more common interests. According to the journalist, it should be recalled that the ADF have been living in the eastern DRC for over 25 years and therefore, have created and maintained strong local connections".
“The members of the ADF have mingled with the population. Some of them may be neighbors. Others may be active only temporarily. In short, the ADF are part of a wider network, consisting of local politicians and military officers, strongmen and groups based on economic interests. This criminal network has often taken precedence over certain areas of trade, the local economy, society, army, politics and administration”.
In order to resolve this situation, one needs to initiate investigations on the true origin of the attacks and massacres perpetrated in the territory of Beni against civilian populations and punish the perpetrators and accomplices of these massacres; initiate investigations into the embezzlement of military salaries by certain officers of the army and on the illegal trade in which other military officers are involved; make the necessary changes in the chain of command of the operational area of Beni, in order to have a military command above all suspicion. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2014)

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Nouveau massacre au Nord Kivu portant à 200 le nombre des personnes tuées sur zone depuis octobre

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Plus de 100 personnes ont été tuées le 20 novembre dans la région de Beni, au Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo. Selon une note envoyée à l’Agence Fides par la Coordination de la Société civile au Nord Kivu, « le massacre le plus épouvantable a eu lieu en plein jour, entre 14.00 et 19.00 le jeudi 20 novembre, dans les villages de Tepiomba et Vemba ».
Selon la note, au moins 200 personnes ont été tuées depuis le 2 octobre dans le cadre d’une série d’attaques qui ont frappé différents villages de la zone. D’autres témoignages envoyés à Fides affirment que les assaillants se sont présentés aux habitants des villages en uniforme de l’armée congolaise sous le prétexte de les protéger. Une fois leur confiance abusée, ils ont commencé le massacre.

La Coordination de la Société civile « se déclare bouleversée par ce énième crime et dénonce les exécutions perpétrées à la machette par les terroristes de l’ADF-Nalu ou par leurs alliés dans la zone de Beni » et invite les forces de sécurité congolaises ainsi que la MONUC (Mission de l’ONU en République démocratique du Congo) à relever le défi lancé par l’ADF-Nalu, le groupe d’origine ougandaise qui sévit depuis longtemps dans la région.

Dans le même temps, les représentants de la société civile demandent aux autorités « un plus grand professionnalisme et une plus grande objectivité afin de ne pas confondre les coupables avec les innocents et que la chasse à l’ADF-Nalu ne soit pas qualifiée de chasse à l’homme par ses détracteurs ». (L.M.) (Agence Fides 24/11/2014)

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AFRICA/DR CONGO – Another massacre in North Kivu: 200 people were killed in the area in October

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – More than a hundred people were killed on November 20 in the region of Beni, in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Coordination of Civil Society in North Kivu, “the most appalling massacre took place in broad daylight, between 2 and 7 pm on Thursday 20 November, in the villages of Tepiomba and Vemba”.

According to the note, at least 200 people were killed on October 2 in a series of attacks in several villages in the area. Other testimony sent to Fides state that the assailants presented themselves to villageres wearing the regular Congolese army uniform, with the excuse of protecting them. Once they gained their confidence, they started the massacre.

The coordination of civil society “is shocked and denounces the executions perpetrated with a machete by terrorists of the ADF-NALU or by their allies in the area of Beni” and calls on the Congolese security forces and MONUC (UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) to face the challenge launched by the ADF-NALU, the group of Ugandan origin who have long raged in the region.

At the same time, representatives of civil society urge the authorities “greater professionalism and objectivity, so they do not confuse the guilty with the innocent”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2014)
Refugees’ integration in Uganda will require renewed lobbying

Georgia Cole (University of Oxford)

www.fmreview.org/faith/cole<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001tAlZRXYjW_R2i4mxrw_ftAtpi8oJdcZW2Aiz_9aQb4OazGKXxEapN1a43JhF078d-4vsmmYHrHM5ye-HG6OsdB6iSubJfNVDc-sFWIU8Qmqfd9ogBob9s0xbIwneIp19cIy6x18IpspIWd-BZuE9lCE5EYDsboHsWuCOhrJSFmWKeWXLJJi1KfPPgHhEwD9d7qRwBbvmRBXh4UQRvPIB9MdSFAjkY92AmiSG3hl0d4cjt7WtK688cQjCOlYOGzTgkXXKIYabQIOFygbMRmj6lGaz4sbW-twHYwfK-7fPi-q-ynNwqaceKeCMcFHbIvX5-v0dlDnvkJNklERMnaO54Xp5ng3z5ytv3kkzfENflycN-RL2FzvkGpoR5dHPpHk21W2ZTPy_JWq7jNr660v4rJ4vXEuPeVy0nrGP45JeRbs1Powwm9Lcog==&c=qXEGHim-pkUEsYDB-Ts4yOPEJdoWh1dP5nsHPQVUdhh9ebnug2DOnw==&ch=LmlulG5IRHEN-l1wylkmV7_iISdNRQv_3EjUD7NeUtct0sX9d-ibhQ==>

Agenzia Fides – www.fides.org
AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Nouveaux massacres à Beni et réactions de population exaspérée

Kinshasa (Agence Fides) – Les massacres se poursuivent à Beni, dans le Nord Kivu, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo, malgré la visite en ville du Président Joseph Kabila, sur place pour rassurer la population, terrorisée par les violences des guérilleros de l’ADF-Nalu (voir Fides 17/10/2014).

Selon la presse locale, le Dimanche 2 novembre, 14 personnes, dont deux militaires, ont été tuées à l’arme blanche dans les environs de la Paroisse de Gustave de Beni-Paida, sur le territoire de la commune de Ruwenzori.

Le nouveau massacre a provoqué la colère de la population qui est descendue dans les rues de la ville, affrontant la police après avoir incendié les drapeaux des partis de la majorité présidentielle et détruit la statue représentant le Président Joseph Kabila, qui se trouvait en visite à Beni le 29 octobre.

Selon la Conférence épiscopale de RDC, environ 100 personnes ont été tuées le mois dernier par les « présumés rebelles ougandais de l’ADF ». La grave situation présente sur zone avait été dénoncée le 17 octobre par S.Exc. Mgr Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Evêque de Butembo-Beni. Au cours de ces derniers mois, l’armée congolaise, avec le concours des Casques bleus de la MONUC (mission de l’ONU en RDC), était parvenue à placer sous contrôle les principaux groupes de guérillas présents dans la zone, en particulier le M23, mais la recrudescence des actions des rebelles ougandais a fait replonger la population dans la terreur. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 05/11/2014)

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AFRICA/CONGO DR – New massacres in Beni, the people are exasperated and protest in the streets

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Massacres in Beni, North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continue, despite the visit of President Joseph Kabila in the city in order to reassure the people, terrified by the violence of the ADF-Nalu guerrillas (see Fides 17/10/2014).

According to the local press, on Sunday, November 2, 14 people, including two soldiers were killed near the parish of Gustave de Beni-Paida, in the municipality of Ruwenzori.

The new massacre provoked the anger of the people who took to the streets, clashing with police after having set fire to the flags of the parties of the presidential majority and destroyed the statue of President Joseph Kabila, who had come to Beni on October 29.

According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the DRC, about 100 people were killed last month by “suspected Ugandan ADF rebels”. The serious situation in the area had been reported on October 17 by His Exc. Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni. In recent months, the Congolese army, along with the peacekeepers of MONUC (the UN Mission in the DRC), had managed to put under control the main guerrilla groups in the area, particularly the M23, but the resurgence of the actions of Ugandan rebels has made the population sink back in despair. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2014)

AFRICA/CONGO DR – New massacres in Beni, the people are exasperated and protest in the streets
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Massacres in Beni, North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continue, despite the visit of President Joseph Kabila in the city in order to reassure the people, terrified by the violence of the ADF-Nalu guerrillas (see Fides 17/10/2014).
According to the local press, on Sunday, November 2, 14 people, including two soldiers were killed near the parish of Gustave de Beni-Paida, in the municipality of Ruwenzori.
The new massacre provoked the anger of the people who took to the streets, clashing with police after having set fire to the flags of the parties of the presidential majority and destroyed the statue of President Joseph Kabila, who had come to Beni on October 29.
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the DRC, about 100 people were killed last month by “suspected Ugandan ADF rebels”. The serious situation in the area had been reported on October 17 by His Exc. Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni. In recent months, the Congolese army, along with the peacekeepers of MONUC (the UN Mission in the DRC), had managed to put under control the main guerrilla groups in the area, particularly the M23, but the resurgence of the actions of Ugandan rebels has made the population sink back in despair. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2014)

Pope Receives Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni

Two Leaders Discuss Good Holy See-State Relations, Conflicts in Africa

By Staff Reporter

VATICAN CITY, October 27, 2014 (Zenit.org) – In the Vatican apostolic palace today, Pope Francis received President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda.

He was accompanied by the First Lady, Janet Museveni, as well ministers and other dignitaries.

During the “cordial discussions”, the Vatican said “certain aspects of life in the country and the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Uganda were highlighted.”

The statement added that “particular reference” was placed on the “fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church and her collaboration with institutions in the educational, social and healthcare sectors.”

Furthermore, the importance of “peaceful co-existence between the various social and religious components of the country was underlined,” the Vatican said.

Finally, mention was made of “various questions of an international nature, with special attention to the conflicts affecting certain areas of Africa.”

During the exchange of gifts, the President gave Francis a copy of a book entitled `Sowing the Mustard Seed’ and a portrait of Crested Crane, Uganda’s symbol. The Pope gave President Museveni a medal of St. Martin.

President Museveni subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During his visit to Rome, the Ugandan head of state yesterday visited the Uganda Martyrs’ Catholic church in the city, during which he was shown relics from some of the martyrs who were canonised on October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

In a tweet, President Museveni said Monday that Pope Francis had “expressed willingness” to visit Uganda on the 50th anniversary of the canonization.

Noting that Christians make up 86% of Uganda’s population, Museveni highlighted to worshippers the extent to which Christian organisations have contributed to the country’s social, health and education sectors.

Vatican Information Service

Audience with the President of Uganda: peaceful co-existence between social and religious groups

Vatican City, 27 October 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the president of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, the Parties focused on certain aspects of life in the country and the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Uganda were highlighted, with particular reference to the fundamental contribution of the Catholic Church and her collaboration with institutions in the educational, social and healthcare sectors. Furthermore, the importance of peaceful co-existence between the various social and religious components of the country was underlined.

Finally, mention was made of various questions of an international nature, with special attention to the conflicts affecting certain areas of Africa.

Vatican Radio
19/10/2014

Blessed Pope Paul VI had a special place in his heart for Africa

19/10/2014

(Vatican Radio) Thousands of worshippers today thronged St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for the beatification of Pope Paul VI during the concluding Mass of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. The Mass conducted by Pope Francis was also attended by Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI.

Pope Paul VI is being beatified thirty six years after his death in 1978. He had the enormous task of continuing the work of the Second Vatican Council began by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII,.

Pope Paul VI is credited with having initiated papal visits as we know them today. He had a very special interest in Africa even before his papacy began. As Cardinal Montini, he is reported to have visited several African countries among them Nigeria, in 1962.

One of his first major acts as Pope was to canonize the Martyrs of Uganda in St Peter’s Basilica. Ugandan Archbishop of Gulu and President of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, John-Baptist Odama recalls the era with great fondness. “For the first time ever, the drums of Africa were heard in St. Peter’s Basilica when Pope Paul VI canonized the Martyrs of Uganda…. It was a wonderful thing for Africa and for the world to behold,” Archbishop Odama said.

According to Archbishop Odama, after the canonization of the Martyrs of Uganda, Pope Paul VI wanted to go and venerate them in their land hence the visit to Uganda in 1969. He would be the first Pope to visit Africa.

“I had just started my training as a major seminary student of Philosophy. For me it was as if heaven had come on earth….although travel was difficult in those days, many people travelled distances to come and see the Pope. They walked…. some from my diocese walked 300 Kilometres to come to Kampala (the capital of Uganda). Others walked all the way from Kenya and many other African countries.” Bishop Odama recalls.

Bishop Odama also remembers that it was in Kampala’s Lubaga Cathedral that Pope Paul VI, issued that now important statement: “Africans, be missionaries to yourselves.” According to Archbishop Odama, this statement was made in light of the inauguration of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) by Pope Paul VI, during the apostolic visit. Archbishop Odama believes that Africa has by and large not fully lived up to that statement.

“We have not fully lived up to that statement although some Bishops and dioceses have tried… Pope Paul VI wanted Africans to share more of their personnel and resources for evangelization through the newly founded association of SECAM. In light of the Beatification, we need to revisit this statement and see how we can implement it. It is homework that Africa still needs to implement.” Archbishop Odama emphasizes.

SECAM was established in 1969 intended to preserve and foster communion, collaboration and joint action among all the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and the adjacent Islands. Its secretariat is in Ghana.

Archbishop Odama, a well-known advocate for peace in his country Uganda, has received several peace awards for his work. It is not surprising that he holds dear the encyclical written by Pope Paul VI “Populorum progressio” on the topic of “the development of peoples.” He says that it is a document that Africa needs to reread.

Listen below to Archbishop Odama as he discusses the beatification of Paul VI, on Vatican Radio, with Fr. Paul Samasumo the head of the English Service for Africa.
http://media02.radiovaticana.va/audio/audio2/mp3/00449503.mp3

AFRICA/CONGO DR – At least 30 people have died in the guerrilla assault in the town of Beni
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – 30 people have died and 9 injured in the massacre perpetrated in the night between 15 and 16 October by the Ugandan rebels of the ADF-NALU in a neighborhood of the city of Beni, North Kivu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo). This was denounced in a statement sent to Fides Agency by Civil Society of North Kivu, according to which this latest massacre leads to a toll of 57 victims and 31 injured in the violence committed by the group in the last two weeks in the towns along the road Beni-Eringeti.
“Civil Society of North Kivu denounces the genocide by the ADF-NALU and draws the attention of the International Criminal Court on the savage massacres committed against the people of Beni”, said the statement, which concludes launching an appeal to the armed forces and Congolese security and the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to intensify efforts to protect the civilian population.
The ADF-Nalu is a guerrilla group born from the union of the two previous movements fighting against the Ugandan government, the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. The group has been responsible for several crimes against civilians, in particular the abduction of about 600 people in North Kivu, including 3 Assumptionist father (Augustinians of the Assumption) of Congolese nationality, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, who disappeared on the evening of October 19, 2012 in their parish of Notre-Dame des Pauvres in Mbau, 22 km from Beni (see Fides 22/10/2012). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2014)

AFRIQUE/RD CONGO

Poursuite des violences dans les zones déclarées « libres » de la guérilla par l’armée congolaise

Kinshasa (Agence Fides)- Les guérilleros d’origine ougandaise de l’ADF-Nalu continuent à semer la terreur parmi la population du territoire de Beni, dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). C’est ce que dénonce un communiqué envoyé à l’Agence Fides par la société civile du Nord Kivu.

Selon le document, les guérilleros agissent dans des zones déclarées « sûres » par l’armée congolaise qui a, par suite, réduit la présence de ses troupes dans les zones en question.

L’ADF-Nalu est un groupe de guérilla né de l’union de deux mouvements précédents qui se battent contre le gouvernement ougandais, à savoir les Allied Democratic Forces et la National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. En réalité, l’ADF-Nalu plus que combattre sur le territoire ougandais l’armée de Kampala, s’est installé depuis longtemps au Nord Kivu (RDC) et, comme d’autres groupes similaires présents dans l’est de la RDC, se dédie au rançonnage de la population civile et à l’exploitation illégale des ressources naturelles congolaises. Ce groupe est accusé par ailleurs de l’enlèvement de plus de 600 civils parmi lesquels se trouveraient les Pères Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi et Edmond Bamutute, prêtres Assomptionnistes (Augustins de l’Assomption) de nationalité congolaise, ayant disparu le 19 octobre 2012 au soir de leur Paroisse Notre-Dame des Pauvres de Mbau, à 22 Km de Beni (voir Fides 22/10/2012).

Selon la Société civile du Nord Kivu, existeraient par ailleurs des signaux de reconstitution du M23, le groupe armé formellement dissous qui, de 2011 à 2013, avait pris le contrôle d’une importante partie du Nord Kivu. (L.M.) (Agence Fides 06/10/2014)

  • * * * * *
    AFRICA/CONGO DR

Violence in the areas that the army has declared “free” from the guerrillas continue

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The Ugandan guerrillas of the ADF-Nalu continue to sow terror among the population in the territory of Beni, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This was revealed in a statement sent to Fides Agency by civil society in North Kivu.

According to the document, the guerrillas operate in areas declared “safe” by the regular Congolese army, that therefore reduced the presence of its troops in those areas.

The ADF-Nalu is a guerrilla group born from the union of the two previous movements fighting against the Ugandan government, the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda. In fact, the ADF-Nalu more than fighting against the army in the territory of Uganda against the army of Kampala, has for a long time installed in North Kivu Congolese and, like other similar groups present in eastern DRC, is dedicated to the extortion of the civil population and the illegal exploitation of Congolese natural resources. This group is accused of the kidnapping of more than 600 civilians, among whom 3 Assumptionist fathers (Augustinians of the Assumption) of Congolese nationality, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, who disappeared on the evening of October 19, 2012 from their parish Notre-Dame des Pauvres of Mbau, 22 km from Beni (see Fides 22/10/2012). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/10/2014)

AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Religious leaders committed to calm tensions on the border with Uganda
Juba (Agenzia Fides) – The local religious leaders are at the forefront to calm tensions in the border area between South Sudan and Uganda, among residents of Kajo-Keji (South Sudan) and those of Moyo (in Uganda). The two communities have become the protagonists of a series of attacks and reprisals along the border between the two States. The South Sudanese accuse the residents of Moyo of having destroyed 90 homes and stealing 37 head of cattle during a raid in the southern Sudanese territory. In retaliation, 12 Ugandan women have been kidnapped in Moyo and brought to Kajo-Keji. In recent clashes at least 7 people were killed.
A gesture of reconciliation between the two communities was addressed by His Exc. Mgr. Erkolano Lodu Tombe, Bishop of Yei. Mgr. Lodu Tombe has urged residents not to repay evil with evil, and to have confidence in the governments of the two Countries to resolve the border dispute. The Bishop then asked the two governments to speed up procedures to demarcate the border in order to avoid new tensions.
The Anglican Bishop of Kajo-Keji, Rev. Anthony Poggo, has appealed to the two communities to immediately cease the violence. Two delegations, each composed of about twenty people in their communities, have asked the governments of Uganda and South Sudan to monitor and demarcate the border as soon as possible. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/09/2014)

East Africa Oil Boom: Resource Curse or Infrastructure Delinquency?<http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/08/east-africa-oil-boom-resource-curse-or-infrastructure-delinquency/>
26 August 2014 | Ventures Africa
East Africa is the new oil and gas frontier. Recent discoveries of commercially viable deposits in the last few years in Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda among others have sparked excitement and equal concern in the region. Read More<http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/08/east-africa-oil-boom-resource-curse-or-infrastructure-delinquency/>

Uganda: Residents Commit to Fighting Land Grabbers<http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658964-residents-commit-to-fighting-land-grabbers.html>
22 August 2014 | New Vision
The district chairperson Anthony Atubo, who led the residents, said land is life and nobody can live comfortably without it. “Land is a major factor in the wellbeing of people, but unscrupulous developers are forcefully grabbing land from locals using their powerful positions,” he said. Read More<http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658964-residents-commit-to-fighting-land-grabbers.html>

AFRICA/CONGO RD – Dismay for the death, only months apart, of the two army officers who defeated M23
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – “We are orphans since the death of General Lucien Bahuma Ambamba who raised the banner for Congo’s armed forces” says a report sent to Fides by the civil society in North Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the death of commander Bahuma, who led the Congolese army in the victorious offensive against the guerrilla group M23 (seeFides 6/11/2013).
The general died of “cardiac arrest” in a South African hospital where he was taken urgently from Uganda, after suffering a heart attack while taking part in a meeting with Ugandan fellow officers. His death comes only a few months after the killing in an ambush of colonel (now posthumous general) Mamadou Ndala, Commander of Brigade URR (Rapid Reaction Unit, see Fides 15/1/2014). Congo’s civil society calls for an inquiry to clarify the circumstances of the death of the general, whose competence will be greatly missed while eastern Democratic Congo still has to deal with the presence of various other armed groups which harass the people.
These groups include ADF-Nalu of Ugandan origin which, according to Fides’ sources, in late August intensified raids on villages in the area of Beni. The same sources report that a few hundred former combatants of M23 and FDLR who surrendered and were repatriated to Rwanda, have joined the ranks of ADF-Nalu.
Another statement sent to Fides denounced the kidnapping of a professor and secretary general of Kivu University in Goma. The two academics were taken hostage while travelling on a public bus from Goma to Butembo, where they intended to take part in the funeral of a professor of the Graben Catholic University. According to the report this was a targeted kidnapping which followed that of an evangelical pastor last week. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 2/9/2014)