Political Violence in the DRC

| September 24th, 2016

“There was a peace march on Monday 19 September but there was also a lot of damage: looting, kidnapping, violence… Two priests of the Diocese of Kikwit; Fathers Jean Paul Mboma and Prosper Sindani have been missing since Monday. They were assisting the Sisters of Charity of Namur in Limete/Kinshasa, right next to the national headquarters of CNC (Congolese National Congress) which were destroyed.  Since then there has been no reliable news about the place of their detention. The two priests wanted to protect the Sisters who feared becoming victims of acts of sabotage. The number of victims of this day is not yet definite.”

This message was sent to Holy Family Communications Service, Rome, on 22/09, by our sister Christine FENE – FENE from D. R. Congo.

The security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo appears to be deteriorating; the peace march organised by the Congolese opposition on 19 September triggered violent clashes with police leaving many people dead.   The march had terrible consequences in Kinshasa, the capital city. The opposition has lost seventy-five people according to the words of the opposition leader, Martin FAYULU, who suffered a head injury during the march. For two days, Kinshasa was plunged into a state of torpor.

The official provisional toll of the dead is reported to be 32 and a hundred as injured. Six headquarters of political parties were robbed or burned. However, according to the main opposition party, the toll is much more serious. The opposition maintains that it was the government who paid bandits to create turmoil in order to accuse the opposition of being responsible for the massacres.

The police spokesman stated that all the kidnapped people, also the two priests cited above, had been released. According to the same source there were 114 physical and intellectual authors of this demonstration.

Yesterday (21/09/2016), around 7pm in the community of Limeté, district of Kingabwa, near the Holy Family sisters’ house, there were sudden gunshots, which created panic among our Sisters during their meal.  They had to hide in their rooms for security. They say that the situation is apparently calm today.
As of today, there is an apparent calm. Yet nothing is certain, so we request and trust in your prayers for the people of DRC.