On 19 October 2020 the Bishops of the DRC Bishops’ Conference (CENCO) issued a strongly worded statement condemning death threats received by the Bishops of Bunia and Uvira.  “We are deeply saddened to note that the political actors are showing revolting indifference while the country is on the verge of bankruptcy” affirm the Bishops. “At a time when the Congolese are languishing in indescribable misery aggravated by COVID-19, the allies in power are devoting their energies to positioning calculations in relation to the 2023 elections in order to retain or regain power” affirm the Bishops in their Message published at the end of their Plenary Assembly. The situation is further aggravated by “the scourges of tribalism and community conflicts, often fomented and exacerbated by the same political actors, who sacrifice skills and meritocracy in the management of public affairs for the benefit of partisan interests”.

The Bishops clearly identify the role of the mining sector in the country’s crisis: “ The mining sector on which the country could count is, like many others, plagued by corruption and benefits a few individuals, multinationals and “militarized criminal groups” more than the population. We note there the strategy of depopulation by massacres of local populations, occupation of land and control of natural resources “affirm the Bishops who” denounce and vigorously condemn the death threats made against our brothers in the Episcopate, Our Lords Dieudonné Uringi, Bishop of Bunia and Sébastien Muyengo, Bishop of Uvira. Both have denounced in recent months the balkanization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by foreign forces who, according to them, are fueling tribal conflicts and rebellions to appropriate portions of Congolese land and exploit its wealth.”  Particular mention is made of the extraction of oil from Lake Albert.

To get out of this situation, the Bishops urge the population to “get out of our torpor and remain vigilant on respect for the Constitution. Let us effectively exercise our right as primary sovereign and act to prevent any attempt to confiscate our right to choose our leaders and to rule on the fate of our country.”

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