Church slams killing in the Congo
KINSHASA: Congolese security forces and a militia fighting them have killed at least 3 383 people in the central Kasai region since October last year, the Catholic Church said yesterday, in the most detailed report to date on the violence.
Church officials, citing their own sources in the remote territory bordering Angola, said the army had destroyed 10 villages as it sought to stamp out an insurrection.
They also accused the Kamuina Nsapu militia of killing hundreds of people, destroying four villages and attacking church property in a campaign to drive out central government troops. No one was available to comment from the militia or Democratic Republic of the Congo’s army, which has dismissed accusations of excessive force in the past.
The church’s report will carry considerable weight in a country where about 40% of the population identifies as Catholic.
Fighting surged in Kasai last August when the army killed a chief who had been calling for government forces to quit the region, saying it should be left to local leaders. Reuters