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Peace Mission in Central Africa: A Call for an End to the Conflict in the DRC

Central African Bishops Join Forces for Conflict Resolution in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the heart of Africa, a long-lasting crisis continues to plague the nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi. This conflict, rooted in decades of tension and violence, has attracted the attention and intervention of influential religious figures in the region. Recently, the bishops of these nations united in a common call for peace, emphasising the urgent need to resolve a conflict that has already claimed millions of lives.

An Assembly for Peace

At a press conference in Goma, eastern DRC, the Bishop of Idiofa and President of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC), José Moko, highlighted the horror of the conflict, citing a death toll of between five and 12 million. The ACEAC, which brings together the Episcopal Conferences of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, met in this war-stricken city to discuss and promote peace initiatives.

Meetings for Change

The bishops’ mission was not limited to speeches and prayers; they actively met with regional authorities and even members of the M23 rebel movement. These meetings aim to establish constructive dialogue and find a peaceful solution to the conflict, which has recently seen an escalation of violence, with dozens of deaths and thousands displaced.

The Protracted Crisis

The conflict in the east of the DRC has lasted for over 30 years and escalated at the end of 2021. This region, particularly the territories of Rutshuru and Masisi in North Kivu, has become a battleground between the M23 rebellion, backed by the Rwandan army, and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), supported by armed groups allied with Burundi and foreign mercenaries. This complex situation requires a holistic solution that addresses all parties involved.

A Message of Hope and Criticism

During the Mass for Peace held on 28 January, attended by thousands of faithful, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa, delivered a powerful message. He criticised the leaders of the nations involved for inciting division and conflict, suggesting that some may have vested interests in the continuation of hostilities.

The Road to Peace

The role of the bishops in this scenario goes beyond mere denunciation; it is an active attempt to mediate and facilitate dialogue between the parties. ACEAC, with its persistent commitment to peace, seeks to act as a bridge between the various actors in the conflict, emphasising the importance of mercy and mutual understanding.

The situation in the DRC and neighbouring countries requires continued international attention and concrete actions for conflict resolution. The appeal of the Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian bishops is not only a cry for help, but also a reminder of humanity’s ability to overcome divisions through understanding, mercy and a shared commitment to peace. Their mission is not just a religious duty, but a profound expression of humanity and solidarity with all those who suffer from this protracted conflict.


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