The head of the Catholic Church in DR Congo has claimed the conflict and terror being inflicted on people in eastern Congo is aimed to break them so they submit to foreign occupation.
Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Archbishop of Kinshasa, in comments made during visit to Butembo and Beni, regions heavily affected, says there is plan for “balkanisation” of DRC.
Cardinal Ambongo was in this region between December 27-31. He held huge mass in Beni, at the same time as other separate political rallies by the Lamuka opposition block led by some of the most powerful men in Congo.
The comments by the Cardinal follow those of Lamuka coalition principal Adolphe Muzito before Christmas in which he suggested that the only way to end conflict in eastern Congo is to fight and annex Rwanda to be part of DR Congo.
However, Cardinal Ambongo’s version is that there is a foreign-instigated project to cut off a portion of DRC from Bunia to the far northeast, all the way down to Fizii. This whole stretch of land covers the entire border of Rwanda and Uganda.
The Vatican’s face in DRC did not mention “Rwanda” by name, but the choice of words he used are smartly selected to show clearly what Cardinal Ambongo was talking about.
Cardinal Ambongo made his comments in interview with a broadcaster of the Vatican. But has also made them during press encounter in Goma.
For the Archbishop of Kinshasa, the conflicts that continue to claim victims in the east of the country are, without a doubt, part of a balkanization policy.
He said: “It is the enemy’s plan, of sowing terror, in order to oblige the population to flee, by consequence abandon this place to be freely run by other occupants who will come to settle.”
“Whether the project will ever be achieved depends on us Congolese. It all depends on us to protect our country.”
According to him, the recent deadly protests in which people in Beni attacked UN bases – angry over MONUSCO’s inability to protect them from constant rebel attacks, are justified.
Cardinal Ambongo’s comments claiming there is project to break up DRC are not new. They have been made by politicians in Congo for many years. What is different this time is the status of Cardinal.
Considering the power the Catholic Church holds over Congolese society, there is going to be increased mobilization using the Cardinal as rallying point.