Thursday the 25th of February

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Congolese forces use violence to disperse church-led protests

Security forces in Congo violently dispersed protesters who were demanding that President Joseph Kabila hold fresh elections.

A spokesman for the UN Stabilisation Mission said the organisation had recorded six deaths, dozens of injuries and more than 240 arrests in Kinshasa when demonstrations were staged after Masses on Sunday 21st January. The church’s lay co-ordinating committee organised the demonstrations.

UN radio in Congo reported coalition parties criticised the church for organising the protests.

Agence France-Presse reported a 24-year-old female religious novice had been killed when police fired on St Francis de Sales Church in the capital’s Kintambo suburb.

It added that similar violence had erupted outside Notre Dame Cathedral and in many of the city’s 160 Catholic parishes, as protesters, accompanied by clergy, waved crucifixes and rosaries.

UN radio in Congo reported coalition parties criticised the church for organising the protests and for working “against the interests of the DRC.”

Picture: A priest runs as riot police fire tear gas canisters to disperse demonstrators during a protest organised by Catholic activists in Kinshasa, Congo. At least six people were killed during demonstrations across the country against delayed elections and Congolese President Joseph Kabila. (CNS photo/Kenny Katombe, Reuters).