World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC commissions and working groups / Commission of the Churches on International Affairs / Regional concerns / Africa / A just and lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region

A just and lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region

24 June 2004

Letter to H.E. President Paul Kagame, Republic of Rwanda, 24 June, 2004



Your Excellency,

The World Council of Churches, together with the All Africa Conference of
Churches, has accompanied the churches and people of Rwanda particularly during
the difficult period in the early 1990s. Recently, I visited Rwanda to commemorate
the 10th Anniversary of the genocide and express solidarity with the
people who suffered as a result of it. It was a time for soul-searching and repentance
for the churches for having failed the people of Rwanda in their time of
need.

Your Excellency, nurturing good neighbourly relations and promoting peace
and harmony between and among nations is an important priority for the World
Council of Churches. The World Council of Churches has consistently undertaken
advocacy work for a just and lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region and more
particularly between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The Lusaka
Agreement of August 1999 that brought peace to the Great Lakes Region is a
matter of pride, not only for Africans, but also for others of good will. The World
Council of Churches is therefore troubled and concerned by reports of tension and
building up of forces on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Rwanda. If the present drift towards hostility is not handled with urgency, utmost
care and sensitivity, it is likely to result in another needless war that may have
adverse effects on the carefully managed Lusaka Peace Agreement.

The World Council of Churches, therefore, urges Your Excellency to use your
internationally recognized wisdom to resolve the current crisis in the border area
with the Democratic Republic of Congo through dialogue, mediation and peaceful
settlement.

The World Council of Churches assures you and the people of Rwanda of its
prayers and support.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary