The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean Michel Sama Lukonde and Monsignor Marcel Utembi Tapa, President of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo, have commended the commitment of Congolese soldiers at the war front to defend the territorial integrity of the country.
DR Congo has been facing assaults by M23 rebels and the Rwandan army in the eastern part of the country.
Lukonde spoke on Sunday, July 3, during the celebration of a mass for peace and reconciliation in DR Congo led by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.
He said the FARDC forces “go right to the ultimate sacrifice in defending their nation”.
“To all these women and these men engaged in this service to ensure the protection of our sovereignty and country, we address all our recognition.”
Monsignor Marcel Utembi, the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo on his part, lamented the effects of the war in the eastern part of the country, such as the massive displacement of populations, the massacre of citizens, personnel of the diplomatic corps, United Nations agents and humanitarian workers.
Utembi, the Archbishop of Kisangani, declared support for the FARDC and the state authorities to bring peace to the eastern DR Congo.
“We encourage and support our brave soldiers of the FARDC who are at the front and those accompanying our politico-administrative leaders in the search for sustainable solutions to the return of peace in our country and the sub-region.”
The priest said peace in eastern DR Congo is also tributary to the “frank involvement of the international community in the promotion of peace and reconciliation in the zones taken hostage by the rebels”.
Several voices within the opposition and civil society have criticised the lack of proper care for the soldiers at the front against the rebels.
During the last parliamentary session in March this year, the national parliamentarians and senators voted on a law, which according to Bertin Mubunzi, president of the parliamentary commission for defence and security, “expresses the wishes of the institutions to see the power of the army increase”.
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