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May 28 2013 | BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

PRESS RELEASE AND APPEAL FOR PEACE IN KIVU

Sant'Egidio call for peace in Kivu

After ethnic clashes that have left more than 40 injured, the closure of schools and the renewed fighting in Goma

 
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For several days, a few kilometers away from Goma, there have been fratricidal hostilities between Congolese, which have resulted in the disappearance and death of several countrymen.

if that was not enough, Last Friday morning in Bukavu we have witnessed the sad consequences of violence in response to more violence.

The trivial quarrel between two young men has resulted in a conflict that has spread to various parts of the city, becoming a clash between communities, Banyamulenge and children in the area of Nguba. This is also why the school activities were halted, some people suffered several injuries and a church was burned.

In front of the intensification of this tension, the Community of Sant'Egidio addresses the population, and especially the young people of Kivu, and asks:

· To not let be poisoned by an ethnic propaganda but firmly believe that with violence there is no hope and no real solution to the problems

· To persuade with the only weapon we have, the word, those that encourage violence to respect the value of human life

· To not accept invitations to ethnic division and the logic of conflict

· As always to condemn all forms of individual and group violence in our society

· To work together, to build a city of living together with mutual tolerance and to promote dialogue between all groups;

 After the tragedies that have rocked the country for more than two decades, in which more than 5 million Congolese have lost their lives, we believe that there is more room for the culture of confrontation, but we need more than ever to work for a culture of living together.

The Holy Father Francis, during the last vigil of Pentecost has invited all Christians to live the culture of encounters.

He said: "We live in a culture clash, a culture of fragmentation, a culture in which I do not need to throw it away, the culture of waste. But on this point, I invite you to think - and this is part of the crisis -of the elderly, who have the wisdom of people, of children ... this is the culture of waste! But we have to go for encounters and we can create with our faith a "culture of encounter," a culture of friendship, a culture where there are brothers and sisters, we can talk with those who do not think like us, even those who have a different faith, who  do not have the same faith. They all have something in common with us: they are images of God are sons of God "

As baptized Christians and Catholics, we want to witness this culture, stating that we must go beyond disputes related to religion, tribe, ethnic group, as well as drop any feelings of hatred and revenge.

That who uses violence is not a Christian, but denies the in the other the image of God who created us.

The Congo, our country will have a better future only if the Congolese people from all backgrounds live together in peace and unity. We are convinced that the only solution for this is the dialogue and encounter. The weapons of violence separate, and we need to come together and live together.

For this reason we want to invite all people of good will this Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 17 o'clock in the Cathedral Saint Mary of Peace in Bukavu, to pray with the Community of Sant'Egidio, for the return of peace in the Kivus and to ask the Lord Jesus the disarmament of hearts so people can find the path to peace

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