Peaceful protests were planned on September 19, 2016 in Kinshasa, the capital city, as a result of Congolese President Kabila’s refusal to relinquish power when his second term ends at the end of this year on December 20, 2016.
Regrettably, the peaceful march launched by the political opposition leaders ended in chaos. Thirty-three people were killed and more than 126 injured; many people were arrested to be questioned; and buildings were burned.
Kinshasa is now calm and most people are back to their daily activities. Schools reopened on Monday, September 26. Protest participants are working on a political agreement to unify the majority and the opposition leaders for peaceful presidential and legislative elections.
As a result of the political uncertainties that continue in the country, the church leaders working there request you to:
- Pray in your churches, families, workplaces and organizations that we can have more means and available time for training many people who will behave peacefully and correctly.
- Pray that God can touch our political leaders so they can see other people as human beings
- Pray for those who are ready to help but cannot do it from a distance, that they can find other ways of helping by using different means of communication.
- Pray for those who have lost loved ones or homes, that God can help them recover in this situation with help from other people.
- Advocate to other people or peace, medical, church or human right organizations who also could help boost up more peacebuilding and nonviolent behavior trainings in the city of Kinshasa as well as the country side. Violent behavior or destruction is not a solution to the political, social and economic problems.
To learn more about the situation in Kinshasa and the Congo, you can read this letter written by church leader Pascal T. Kulungu working to improve peace among leaders in the Congo: Congolese Political Unrest Letter