NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — A bishop from eastern Congo said people in the area continue to suffer from an ongoing government-rebel conflict, and he hoped pressure from the international community would help relieve the situation.
Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele of Kindu, Congo, told Catholic News Service in Nairobi that people in and around North Kivu and Goma were the worst hit.
“People there suffer from lack of food, shelter and clothes.” he said. He said the church’s aid agency, Caritas Internationalis, was helping victims, “and we thank God for this.”
The bishop said he hoped current concern expressed by the international community would help bring change. He said he believed peace negotiations and not guns would help bring about peace.
Bishop Ngumbi spoke to CNS before members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met with U.N. officials in Kampala, Uganda, Sept. 5, to discuss the situation in Congo. In late August, Congolese troops, backed by a special U.N. force, launched a fresh assault against the M23 movement in North Kivu.
After the meeting, rebel representatives agreed to meet with government leaders in Uganda.
In the past, conflict in eastern Congo — known for fertile lands and valuable minerals — has dragged regional powers into the fighting, with both Rwanda and Uganda accused of backing the M23, claims they deny. Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe have backed the government.
According to the United Nations, in the past year, fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, bringing the total of internally displaced Congolese to 2.6 million. The U.N. said 6.4 million need food and emergency aid.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: