EAC condemns Kivu Church Bombing. Catholic Pope plans to visit Kinshasa

Arusha, Tanzania

The East African Community through the EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mathuki condemns in the strongest terms the horrific bomb attack on worshippers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The strategically planned explosion blasted a church in Kasindi Town, in the Northern Kivu Province a few hours after rebel group met there to declare ceasefire before the Eastern Congo Conflicts’ peace mediator, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Early reports stated that the explosion killed at least 10 people and injured 40 others.

But a spokesman for Uganda’s military operation in the DRC, Bilal Katamba, later confirmed that 16 people lost their lives with more than 20 others seriously injured.

As of now the death toll has gone past 27 people.

DRC Terror attack has since been claimed by Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

“The attackers used an improvised explosive device to carry out the attack and we suspect ADF is behind the attack,” he added.

ADF is the Allied Democratic Forces, which the Islamic State terror organisation claims as its affiliate in central Africa which is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous of the more than 120 armed groups in eastern DRC.

As far as the EAC Secretary General is concerned, the act was a cowardly and heinous crime.

Pastor Esdras Kambale Mupanya, the deacon at the evangelical church in Kasindi, said members of the congregation had gathered for a baptism ceremony before the bomb detonated.

EAC Secretary General, Mathuki extended his sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, while also wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

In his official statement, the community official says the EAC affirms solidarity with President Félix Tshisekedi, the Government, and the people of DRC, during this difficult time.

The Arusha-based East African Community, according to the dispatch, remains committed to the restoration of peace in the Eastern DRC.

EAC extends its full support in the pursuit of a sustainable solution to the protracted security situation.

On the other hand, the community continues to call upon all parties to establish an immediate ceasefire, respect international law, and ensure the safety and security of civilians.

This should be done in order to enable a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.

The EAC Secretary General restates the call by EAC Heads of State for all local armed groups in Eastern DRC to embrace consultations, lay down their arms, and join the political process.

He emphasizes the full respect for the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo and restates the commitment to the utilization of existing regional and global frameworks to address conflict.

The EAC Secretary General reiterates the appeal by EAC Heads of State to the international community to redouble its efforts to ensure robust international support to DRC in the quest for peace in Eastern DRC.

The Pope in Congo

Pope Francis will be visiting DR Congo and South Sudan between January 31 and February 5, 2023.

His itinerary includes a special meeting with a delegation of faithful and “victims” from Goma in Kinshasa, the capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the original timetable, Pope Francis had intended to celebrate mass in the eastern Congolese city of Goma en route to South Sudan, but now the plaintiff will only meet with a handful of the Goma delegates in the country’s capital.

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