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Message of the Ecumenical delegation led by the general secretary of the World Council of Churches to the Congolese people

At the end of our ecumenical solidarity visit from 18-21 August 2018 Ecumenical delegation sends message of encouragement and hope to the Congolese people

23 August 2018

1. At the end of our ecumenical solidarity visit from 18-21 August 2018, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC); Rev. Dr Frank Chikane, moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs; Dr Nigussu Legesse, WCC programme executive; together with Bishop Arnold Temple, president of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC); Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, AACC special envoy to the African Union; Rev. Prof. Bosela Eale, AACC director for Peace, Diakonia and Development; and a delegation from the Vatican in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) composed of the Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the peoples in Vatican, Archbishop Marcel Utembi, president of the Episcopal Conference of the DRC, and Rev. Father Ildevert Mathurin Mouanga, rector of the Theological Seminary Emile Biayenda in Brazzaville, Congo, we address our greetings and send our message of encouragement and hope.

2. The delegation came to share the joys and sorrows of the Congolese people, to show them our closeness and solidarity at this crucial turning point in their history and to encourage them to stand firm in the way out of the current socio-political crisis. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for us to encourage the various religious faith communities to work together, to look in the same direction and to speak with one voice for the general interest of the Congolese people.

3. After meeting and exchanging with different people, we understood that for the solution for the crisis in the DRC, the success of the current electoral process is crucial, as provided in the Constitution and set out in the Global Political and Inclusive Agreement of 31 December 2016, which has been hailed by the Congolese people and by the international community.

4. In this regard, we are pleased to know that the significant steps are being taken in the right direction:

1 ° We welcome the effort to correct the electoral files;

2 ° the compliance until now to the major stages of the published calendar; especially the submission of candidatures for some in respect for constitutional democratic alternation;

3 ° the commitment of the Government to finance the elections.

We congratulate all stakeholders for these efforts and encourage them to move forward to ensure a successful election on 23 December 2018.

5. On the other hand, we are also preoccupied, like many of our interlocutors, by a few challenges that, if not taken into account, may render in vain the efforts made up until then, namely:

1° the issue of people enlisted without fingerprints;

2 ° the need of consensus and trust on the use of the voting machine;

3° the importance of fulfilling measures provided in the Saint Sylvestre Agreement, particularly the cases of prisoners and political exiles which are not yet resolved.

4° the need to guarantee the inclusiveness of elections

6. Therefore, we strongly urge the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Congolese government to seriously address these issues by seeking the necessary consensus and by taking courageous actions in order to guarantee credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections. This is very significant for the peace and the well-being of this beautiful and blessed country.

7. We recommend and encourage the election observation for national and international organizations that have the competence and wish to participate in the electoral poll of 23 December 23 2018.

8. In this situation, we encourage the faith leaders to exercise their moral and pastoral responsibility vis a vis the Congolese people and their leaders.

9. We are stronger when we are together. That is why we encourage faith communities in DRC to continue to speak together with the same language and concentrate on the common good.

10. We will continue to pray for the peace of the people of Congo and support churches in their efforts.

May the Lord bless the DRC and its people.


Kinshasa, 21/08/2018

On behalf of the delegation:

General Secretary, WCC