Congo election must reflect “will of the people” Church warns
The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has warned President Joseph Kabila to hold the postponed elections on December 30 as rescheduled to “reflect the real will of the people” so as to ensure peace in the troubled country.
Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo made the veiled warning at the Notre Dame Cathedral of Kinshasa during the Christmas homily. “The real peace excludes egoism, regionalism, tribalism, division and categorization that pushed us apart,” Ambongo said this is a “critical period in the history of our country,” therefore the people must “have a sense of responsibility, and to embrace nonviolence, so we may make it through December 30th 2018 that elections happen in peace and truth.”
The catholic Church had pressured the President Kabila into stepping down from office when his tenure expired and he had wanted to perpetuate himself in office. The Church organized series of public protests which President Kabila tried to suppress leading to the deaths of dozens of people in clash with security forces.
With the intervention of the international community, the catholic Church still played a key role in the negotiations that forced Kabila to step down and call for elections.
Archbishop Ambongo reiterated that “Real peace, today in our country, the peace that comes from Jesus Christ, that peace requires that the elections are held on schedule, on the 30th of December 2018,” and “Real peace … is a peace that also calls for the results when they are announced to reflect the real will of the people,” he added.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos