The Catholic Church has asked for troops to be sent to the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the slaying of 18 people in Kaniola last weekend.
According to a report by the German Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop François-Xavier Maroy of Bukavu appealed to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide real solutions to the country’s security problems.
The Archbishop told the government, "treat the security problem in the east of the country as a priority and stop trying to distract public opinion with proposed plans for negotiations, dialogue and a roundtable which leads to nothing."
The plea for help came after two villages were attacked in the evening of May 26 and morning of May 27 in the region of South-Kivu. Besides the 18 killed in their sleep, another 27 were wounded and 18 others kidnapped.
"The massacre in Kaniola was carried out almost in the presence of the major of the regular army," the archbishop said. "The cries of the people clearly did not disturb his sleep, even though the massacre took place not far from the place where he is stationed."
"How are we to interpret the silence of the institutions of the republic, of the head of state, the parliament, the central government and the military, in the face of these repeated massacres in Kaniola?" Archbishop Maroy asked." In other countries, the taking of a hostage, even if it is only a single person, immediately prompts the state apparatus to react.”
"So far as the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is concerned, all they can offer us, in the face of the threat of a new war and while massacres are being perpetrated against the civilian population, is an 'inter-communicative' round-table discussion, instead of tackling the real problems, which involve the restoration of military order and security,” he said. “Is this complicity or ignorance?"