A clash occurred between government military and anti-government factions this past weekend in Tshikapa. Relative calm has been restored, but it is an uneasy peace and still a cause for grave concern. Pray for cool heads to prevail and for the protection of any innocent people caught in the middle of this conflict.
The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) is making a last minute effort to bring the presiding national government and the Rassemblement (literally “the Rally” – made up of a consortium of parties refusing to accept the prolongation of the president’s term) into direct talks to avert a showdown (and possible bloodbath) on December 19.
Within the next 24-48 hours the plan is to bring these two forces into direct, face-to-face negotiations, which, ironically would be a first. It appears that all other political attempts (from the national government, the opposition, the U.N., and the ONU) have failed, but all are encouraging serious engagement with this final effort at peaceful resolution.
What is exciting here, if nothing else, is that the Church – in this case largely the Catholic Church – is actually stepping into the gap to call for an alternative to violence. (The Catholic bishops of Congo have courageously refused to take sides in the disputed delay of elections in Congo.)
PLEASE PRAY for those leading these negotiations. Pray that hearts would be open to a third way!
If you find your faith faltering, it may be good to recall how the church stepped in at the last minute in South Africa offering mediation that averted a total meltdown following apartheid (when ‘the powers’ had given up all hope). I do know that our Congolese sisters and brothers of faith are praying diligently for a miracle and Divine intervention! Let’s join them.
We at Hope4Congo are asking you to continue your prayers for the people of the DRC. To give you a bit more insight into the conflict and the Catholic Church’s involvement, please use this link:
Please be in earnest fervent prayer for our precious Congolese brothers and sisters. Pray for the success of the church’s intervention. If you wish to use our prayer list from last week’s blog post please click here.
Our thanks to Charles Buller (CLCN) for these updates we’ve received.