Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo on Tuesday (January 23rd) condemned the repression by the police of the peaceful marches initiated last Sunday by the Catholic laity in the DRC.
“Are we in an open prison? How can one kill men, women, children, young and old chanting religious songs, equipped with Bibles, rosaries, crucifixes? What do we want exactly? Power for the sake of power or power for the integral development of the people, in peace, justice and truth? We want the force of the law to reign and not the law of force, “Cardinal Monsengwo told the press.
Like the day of December 31, 2017, Christians in some parishes were prevented from praying or leaving the parish enclosure by “the police and military more than armed as if they were in a field battle, “said the Cardinal.
Those who could walk were scattered with tear gas, “sound grenades, live ammunition”, rubber bullets, he continued, lamenting “deaths, arrests of priests, nuns and many laymen, theft extortions of property citizens. ”
The Archbishop of Kinshasa also recalled that already the day before, January 20, during the day, barriers had been erected to search the vehicles and verify the identities of passengers.
However, he called on Christians not to give in to violence but to act out of love for others.
The Lay Coordinating Committee organized peaceful marches on January 21st across the DRC. The demonstrations aimed to secure compliance with the December 31, 2016 political agreement signed between the government and the opposition in December 2016 to co-manage the country until the elections. But these marches – banned by the authorities – were repressed by the police. The provisional record of this repression differs according to the sources: MONUSCO speaks of six dead; the ACAJ NGO, nine, and the police, two.
Source: Radio Okapi