WCC condemns violent demonstrations in Kinshasa
The World Council of Churches (WCC) and its member churches expressed deep concern over reports of widespread violent demonstrations in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, since 19 January.
The statement calls for restraint on all sides and for an open dialogue on the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The statement was issued from the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22 January by acting general secretary of the WCC, Georges Lemopoulos.
Lemopoulos said: “We mourn the lives lost and regret the arrests and violence against protesters that have occurred in the context of demonstrations in different areas of the capital, and which are now reported to be spreading to Goma (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu).”
He added: “We urge law enforcement officers not to use excessive force on unarmed civilians, and appeal to demonstrators to employ only nonviolent means of protest.”
The WCC calls for prayer for the people of DRC for healing, justice and peace. Lemopoulos said: “We pray that all sides will join hands in building a better future based on social justice and human dignity. The commitment of all sides to justice and peace is essential to build a prosperous and peaceful nation.”