(Church in Need) Democratic Republic of the Congo: “We are in a state of utter misery”

The Bishop of Butembo-Beni in the eastern part of the democratic republic of the Congo (DRC) denounced the human rights violations being carried out in his diocese by marauding militia groups. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Bishop Paluku Sekuli Melchisédech explained: “The number of incidents is particularly high in the northern part of our diocese. Armed groups are destroying schools and hospitals. Teachers and pupils are being killed. They are even killing the sick as they lie in their hospital beds. Not a day goes by without people being killed.”

According to the bishop, the crisis has led to a rise in psychological disorders. “We need centers where people can go for therapy. Many people are traumatized. Many have watched as their parents were killed. There are many orphans and widows. Villages have been burned to the ground. We are in a state of utter misery.”

For years, the eastern provinces of the DRC have been besieged by militia groups. Important factors in this development are ethnic conflicts, demographic displacement. and access to raw materials. Over the last few years, the situation has been exacerbated by a powerful radical Islamist element.

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Posted in Religion & Culture, Republic of Congo