Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 8, 2008
Congo Catholics seek Canada's help to end brutal war
BY DEBORAH GYAPONG
“We are suffering and need your support,”
- Bishop Fridolin Ambongo
He also asked Canada to provide logistical help and training for Congolese police forces.
Muteba said conflict was occurring around the illegal exploitation of natural resources such as coltan and tin. The mineral wealth obtained through small artisan miners is being smuggled through Rwanda and finds its way into laptops and cell phones.
The bishop called for a pact so that companies wishing to develop Congo’s wealth could do so peacefully in a way that is fair to the Congolese.
The delegation also asked for humanitarian support and an end to the impunity enjoyed by war criminals from the Rwandan genocide who control militias devastating the DRC.
Gatineau Archbishop Roger Ébacher, who travelled to Congo with Development and Peace, recalled how hopeful the country seemed a few years ago as it prepared for democratic elections.
“I’m convinced Canada has a responsibility,” he said. “Canadian companies are present in the Congo. We have a social responsibility in that respect.”
MPs from all four parties were present at the news conference and information session. The delegation of Congolese and Canadian bishops and Development and Peace staff also met with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.
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