- May 6, 2021
As they mourned the killing of the Italian ambassador to their country, Congo’s Catholic bishops said the nation’s deaths, massacres, kidnappings and displacement underlined the toxic state of security, especially in the mineral-rich eastern regions.
Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, the papal nuncio to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, says there is a danger that if Pope Francis visits the country before elections are organized, politicians could use the visit to score political points. He also called the Congo a “predatory state” where politicians are more concerned about amassing wealth than taking care of the needs of the people.
Despite efforts by the Vatican to facilitate peace, a new report by Catholic officials shows that more than 3,300 people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s southern region due to the bloody conflict between the Congolese army and an opposing militia group.
After the Church played a crucial role as mediator in negotiations that led to an agreement that President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will step down following elections to be held late this year, Catholics face a violent backlash. The leader of the Church in the DRC has issued an appeal about “the alarming security situation” in his country.