As negotiations between the Congolese government and rebels were to begin, the nation’s bishops warned that any agreement should not “sell out the unity of the Congolese nation.”
Over the past year, the Congolese bishops have repeatedly drawn attention to a strategy of “balkanization” of the Congo, advocated by neighbouring countries that want to divide it and interfere with its rich mineral resources.
“This strategy has followed the same trajectory for dozens of years: questions of (national) identity, finance, rejection of national authority, illegal exploitation of natural resources, forced displacement of populations and use of violence, all with a view to breaking up” Congo, the bishops said in a statement.
They reaffirmed the sovereignty of the country and the “permanence of its borders . . . fixed during colonization and recognized by the international community” in 1960.