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World News

Archbishop of Canterbury praying for peace in eastern Congo

by Kelly Valencia

The Archbishop of Canterbury has taken to social media to urge Christians to pray for the situation in eastern Congo.

The country is undergoing a resurgence of violence prompting more than 30,000 people to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring Rwanda.

The Congolese military is fighting M23 rebels, a group of mainly Tutsi fighters that were defeated in 2013 by the Congolese army and UN peacekeepers.

They are fighting to control gold and platinum mines found in eastern Congo and claim to defend Tutsi interests against ethnic Hutu armed groups.

Congo has long accused Rwanda of sending fighters across the border to support the M23 as Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, is from the same Tutsi ethnic group.

Rwanda denies any accusation.

Most Rev Justin Welby wrote on Twitter: “I’m praying for peace in eastern Congo, which is undergoing a worrying resurgence of violence. I pray that regional leaders will continue to seek all possible diplomatic solutions.

“I’m praying that the population does not fall into the trap of violence, ethnic hatred and hate speech.

“I pray too for the churches in their role as peacemakers – that God gives them the grace to work together to proclaim peace, and act as a model for peace,” Archbishop Justin tweeted.

The Norwegian Refugee Council declared the situation in DR Congo to be the world’s most neglected refugee crisis for a second consecutive year.


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