Tags: Congolese civil war, Henri Isingoma, Katharine Jefferts Schori, M23, Robert Duncan
Anglican leaders across the globe have joined the call for prayer for the Congo and a peaceful end to its civil war.
The Congo Church Association (CCA), with the support of Archbishop Isingoma Kahwa of the Anglican Church of Congo, issued a call for a week of special prayer for the Congo, asking Christians to pray from Monday, the 26th of November to Sunday the 2nd of December. “We hope individuals, groups and churches will commit to pray afresh for a resolution and definitive end to the conflict, violence and atrocities, and for a new era of peace, as well as for the needs of all those affected.”
A UK-based support group for the Church in the Congo and other Francophone regions of Africa, the Congo Church Association has released a fact and prayer sheet outlining the needs of Africa’s largest country.
“More than 500,000 people have been displaced in the east, including 60,000 into Uganda and Rwanda, following M23 violence against civilians and fighting with the national army,” the CCA wrote.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Tags: Chuck Murphy, Robert Duncan, Todd Hunter
Bishop Todd Hunter of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has been received by the Anglican Church in North America and will serve as an assistant bishop in the office of the primate, the Most Rev. Robert Duncan.
On 4 May 2012 the California-based bishop held a conference call with Archbishop Duncan, Bishop Chuck Murphy of the AMiA, and Bishop Terrell Glenn of PEAR-USA/ACNA to discuss his future plans.
Bishop Hunter stated that he had a “warm and collegial conversations” with the three bishops and “articulated for each of them my vision of C4SO becoming a servant to all the various Anglican entities within North America. C4SO will happily plant churches in partnership with PEARUSA, TheAm and the ACNA.”
C4SO – Churches for the Sake of Others – is a church planting initiative run by Bishop Hunter that will now move under the ecclesial oversight of the ACNA.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Congo to give a temporary home to the AMiA: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2012 p 7 May 4, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Chuck Murphy, Henri Isingoma
The Anglican Province of the Congo will give the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) a temporary refuge while it searches for an ecclesiastical home, the Primate of the Congo Archbishop Henri Isingoma.
In an email to the Church of England Newspaper, the Congolese archbishop stated “we have finally agreed to temporarily welcome AMiA in our Province as a result of a fruitful discussion as a first step of our ongoing dialogue.”
He added that the Congo was also rethinking the Anglican Covenant and Windsor Report, moving on from its January 2012 position.
The province would be “silent until the next Provincial Assembly scheduled for June 2012” on the Covenant, the archbishop said, noting “we appreciate the role played by the Windsor Report and the Anglican Covenant as reliable ways that helped the Anglican Communion to resist to the division for a long time but at the moment, looking at the way the crisis is deepening, I think they seem to gradually lose ground for a secure future of an effective communion among Anglicans worldwide,” the archbishop said.
On 13 April 2012 Bishop Chuck Murphy announced the AMiA had been received by the Congo. The CEN has since been able to confirm the move, but the 6 April 2012 invitation given to the AMiA set a number of conditions for the breakaway American group.
The oversight offered by the Congo would be temporary, and with the understanding that the “provisional attachment of your Mission to the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo will not in any way break its long date relationship with the sister-Province of Rwanda and other missionary agencies in the USA …”
The AMiA must also engage in a “reconciliation process” with “other entities where our Province intends to play a major role.”
Archbishop Isingoma told CEN “we remain aware that at the beginning of their mission there were some uncontrolled and not careful enough actions and feelings contrary to the Anglican tradition.”
However, “this seems to have tremendously improved with time and calls out for them to be recognized as mission partners. That is why, by compassion and hoping that some possible positive results, even in the far future, will come out from different dialogue processes, we couldn’t appreciate the rejection of their church mission action as expressed in their petition. We really felt unkind not only to welcome them at a time of distress in order to offer to them more opportunities to continue with the dialogue within the wide Anglican Communion,” the archbishop said.
“We agree to welcome you in our Province as you request in your petition while you move on in normalizing your position as a plausible Anglican missionary society,” the archbishop told the AMiA said. The “nature and modality” of the transfer will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting in London, he added.
Tags: Chuck Murphy, Henri Isingoma
The Anglican Province of the Congo has given the Anglican Mission in America a temporary home while it seeks to find a permanent place within the Anglican Communion.
In a statement released on 13 April 2012, the chairman of the AMiA, Bishop Chuck Murphy told supporters he had received “an official letter from Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of the Congo, receiving me as a Bishop of the House of Bishops in his Province and offering us a new canonical residence.”
The move to the Congo, Bishop Murphy wrote, came in response to a “recent letter from Archbishop Rwaje asking our bishops to translate to another Anglican jurisdiction by the end of this month.” On 2 April the primate of the Anglican Province of Rwanda (PEAR), Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, asked the AMiA bishops who had resigned to “declare the ecclesiastical jurisdiction to which they wish to be translated within the next few weeks.” PEAR clergy in America were asked to state their intentions by August as to whether they wished to remain in Rwanda, transfer to the ACNA or to another Anglican province.
Bishop Murphy stated the AMiA would continue to develop its particular ecclesiology under the cover of the Congo. “As we continue to transition toward a Mission Society with oversight provided by a College of Consultors, we remain committed to the multi-jurisdictional model that launched the Anglican Mission in Singapore,” he said, adding that “toward that end, conversations with other jurisdictions including the Anglican Church in North America will continue.”
In its 6 April 2012 April to the AMiA, Archbishop Henri Isingoma stated the province would give it temporary ecclesial oversight. The archbishop wrote that the Congo was mindful of the AMiA’s desire to remain in the Anglican Communion “in spite of the differences of opinion among its members and the current acute crisis it undergoes.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Anglican Unscripted Episode 36, April 16, 2012 April 16, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Church of the Congo, Anglican.TV, Church in Wales, Property Litigation, Wicca/Druidism.
Back from Holy Week your Host Kevin and George discuss AMiA, the Occult, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. David Ould joins us this week to talk about Clergy Protocol in the Australian Church and Dean Munday tackles Easter (the real one). Alan Haley talks about San Joaquin and the battle for paper documents.
Congo not backing the AMiA: The Church of England Newspaper, February 3, 2012 p 6. February 10, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Church of the Congo, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Chuck Murphy, Emmanuel Kolini, Henri Isingoma
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Claims the Anglican Mission in America has been given a home in the Anglican Church of the Congo are false, the Primate of the Congolese church, Archbishop Henri Isingoma of Kinshasa tells The Church of England Newspaper.
The Anglican Church of the Congo plans to endorse the Anglican Covenant at its forthcoming general assembly, the archbishop said, and would not violate the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group and initiate a cross border intervention in the jurisdiction of another Anglican province.
At its Winter Conference in Houston, Texas on 12 January 2012 retired Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, acting under the authority of the Province of the Congo, ordained four deacons and a priest to serve for the AMiA, participants at the conference were told.
Mid-level sources within the AMiA have also told CEN that they had been briefed by their leaders that the former Rwandan mission in the U.S. would be taken under the wing of the Congo. In December, the chairman of the AMiA, Bishop Chuck Murphy and all but two of his assistant bishops resigned from the Rwandan House of Bishops in a dispute over financial transparency and tightened oversight.
However, when queried by CEN, Archbishop Isingoma stated he was unaware of any Congolese move to take over the AMiA from Rwanda. The archbishop and the Congolese House of Bishops “have never received or approved a special partnership with AMiA. I am very surprised to hear that we are sponsoring AMIA actions.”
The archbishop speculated that this “could be a plan of the former Archbishop of Rwanda who has a natural and historical liaison with Congo, but he has never expressed that in any way to me or to other bishops of the Anglican Congo.”
“The Anglican Church of Congo is still in the Anglican Communion; it stands on the biblical foundation teachings and until now, it has never think operating against the Anglican Communion tradition,” the archbishop said.
“We are planning to meet together” soon as a “provincial assembly” in the Congo, the archbishop said, “and at the same time the bishops’ house meeting will be held. So, among many other issues we hope to get a common conclusion about the Anglican Covenant.”
The AMiA declined to respond to our queries as of our going to press with this story.
Anglican Unscripted Episode 27, February 6, 2012 February 7, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of the Congo, Anglican.TV, Church of Nigeria, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Ben Kwashi, Congo, Gregory Brewer
Kevin and George reveal breaking news from the Diocese of Central Florida and Bishop-Elect Brewer. They also clarify an Anglican Ink report on AMiA’s Winter Conferences Ordinations. AS Haley discusses the horrible witness TEC is showing the world through the US Legal system. And we discuss the violence in Nigeria and show comments from Archbishop Ben Kwashi from Mere Anglicanism 2012. And there may be some behind the scene footage after the credits again.
Anglican Unscripted: February 1, 2012 February 3, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Church of the Congo, Anglican.TV.
Tags: Anglican Ordinariate, Mark Lawrence, TD Jakes
Your intrepid hosts discuss the troubles with the Anglican Ordinariate of late. They also give some commentary on Bishop Lawrence’s address on the Future of Anglicanism from the Mere Anglicanism Conference last week. Allan discusses the current budget struggle between Bishop Sauls, Dr. Jefferts-Schori and Bonnie Anderson. And Peter Ould ponders a Church/State split in England.
Prayer as the Congo goes to the polls: The Church of England Newspaper, December 2, 2011 p 7. December 7, 2011Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
Tags: Diocese of Bukavu, Sylvestre Bahati Balibusane
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Bishop of Bukavu has asked for the prayer of the Anglican Communion for the people of the Congo as voters in Africa’s largest nation go to the polls this week.
While the country’s civil war officially came to a close in 2003, the Congo has yet to witness the dividends of peace as rebel troops and rival militias “have caused death of many people and have plunged the country in poverty due to a great insecurity,” wrote Bishop Sylvester Bahati Balibusane.
On 28 Nov 2011 the Congo’s 32 million voters were asked to choose from among 18,500 candidates competing for 500 seats in parliament. President Joseph Kabila is also seeking reelection and is facing 10 rival candidates.
In the capital of Kinshasa, heavily armed police patrolled the streets on Sunday night in a bid to forestall partisan violence. While the 2006 elections were generally viewed as free and fair, they were marked by gun battles between rival political groups. UN Peacekeepers along with and helicopters from Angola and South Africa have ferried ballots to the 60,000 polling stations across the country.
The chairman of the electoral commission, Daniel Ngoy Mulunda, told Reuters the election was “going to be a celebration of democracy. The Congolese people are going to take the second step in the consolidation of their democracy. We have kept our promise.”
Bishop Balibusane wrote the five years since the last election has seen a “transformation of peace” in the Congo, with pockets of “insecurity from the militias” in the “east of the country.”
“The mandate of the current government is at the end. Congolese people are going to new presidential and legislative elections,” he wrote, but “as we know, elections in Africa are often a cause of war if the candidates cannot agree with the results.”
“Therefore, we require prayer assistance so that the elections in D.R. Congo may take place in peace with results contributing to the peace establishment everywhere in the country,” the bishop said.
Provisional results from the elections are expected to be released by 6 December 2011.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Bishop of Bukavu narrowly escaped death last week when gunmen invaded his home and threatened to kill him unless he paid a ransom for his life.
According to an email sent by the diocese to overseas mission partners, a gang entered the home of Bishop Bahati Balibusane on the evening of April 8/9. They assaulted a guard, then ransacked the house and tied up the bishop’s family.
Held at gunpoint, the bishop was told by the gunmen they had been paid £15,000 to kill him. The bishop pled for his life and the gunmen said they would spare him if he paid a ransom. The bishop gave the bandits the money he had, and his attackers withdrew, taking their booty with them.
The amount of the ransom is unknown, and attempts to corroborate the story with the bishop have so far been unsuccessful.
Over a 5.4 million people have died in the eastern Congo since 1998, the International Rescue Committee reports, as rival militias and Congolese troops fight for control of the region. Tribal jealousies, battles for control of the region’s mineral wealth, and unresolved disputes from the 1994 Rwandan genocide have fueled the fighting.
In a 2008 statement released through the Congo Church Association, Bishop Bahati warned that “over one million people” have been displaced by the fighting. “Men, women, children are living outside, in schools, in Churches and in some hospitable families. They don’t have water, food, materials, clothes, utensils and latrines. These people living in hardship are exposed to hunger, illness and death of some fathers, mothers and children,” he wrote in a call for “urgent spiritual, material and financial support.”
Church aid agencies report the fighting between Congolese troops and the rebels has led to widespread atrocities. The Barnabas Fund stated “ young men [have been] killed, women raped by retreating government troops, children kidnapped and forcibly recruited as child soldiers to fight a war that is not their own, soldiers and militias [are] pillaging and looting, and hundreds of thousands of displaced people [are] fleeing for their lives.”
Aid agencies report the situation has stabilized over the last two years, but the Congo remains a lawless and unstable region. In a bid to call the world’s attention to the fighting in the Congo, the World Council of Churches will bring together “high-level representatives of government, churches and international organisations” in Kinshasa this week.
“There has been limited improvement in the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over the last couple of years,” the WCC’s Christina Papazoglou said.
The April 14-17 meeting hopes to “provide a space where national and international stakeholders can discuss the major challenges the country is facing and the role the Churches can play in order to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights,” she said.
New Congo Primate Elected: CEN 5.01.09 p May 2, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper.
The Dean of the Anglican Church of the Congo writes that following a meeting of the church’s House of Bishops in Goma on April 28, the Bishop of Boga, the Rt. Rev. Henri Isingoma has been elected Primate and Archbishop of the Congo.
Two candidates, the Rt. Rev. Zachary Masimango, Bishop of Kindu and Dean of the Province and Bishop Isingoma stood for election. Following a secret ballot, Bishop Isingoma was elected by a vote of four to three.
Educated at the Congo’s Anglican Theological Seminary in Bukavu and at the Faculté de théologie évangélique in Bangui in the Central African Republic, Bishop Isingoma served as principal of the Anglican Theological Seminary from 1993 to 1997, and was elected Bishop of the southern Congolese diocese of Katanga in 1997, and is the church’s representative to the Anglican Consultative Council. In 2007 he was translated to the eastern Diocese of Boga along the Congo’s border with Rwanda.
Married with six children, the 58 year old archbishop-elect will be installed as primate of the province in July, upon the retirement of Archbishop Fidele Dirokpa.
In his announcement of the election, Bishop Masimango wrote the new primate would “emphasize faith in the Word of God, joined with work” in leading the church.
The majority of the 500,000 members of the Anglican church in the Congo are concentrated along the country’s Swahili speaking eastern region, the epicenter of two wars that have claimed 5.4 million lives over the past decade, a January 2008 report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said.
Last year, war, disease and malnutrition killed an estimated 45,000 Congolese every month. “Congo’s loss is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark or the state of Colorado perishing within a decade,” George Rupp, president of the IRC said in a statement.
Sporadic fighting continues to erupt between rival warlords and tribal militias in the Eastern Congo.
In October a fresh round of fighting stranded Bishop Isingoma and 150 delegates to the Diocese of Boga synod. After the fighting subsided, and the delegates were able to return home, many found their homes and churches destroyed—some for the fifth time, the Congo Church Association reported last year.
Lord’s Resistance Army regroups in the Congo: CEN 1.16.09 p 7. January 15, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Terrorism.
Driven from its stronghold in the Garamba forest of the Congo, the Lord’s Resistance Army has regrouped near the Sudanese town of Maridi bringing death and destruction in its wake, the Anglican Bishop of Maridi reports.
In a Dec 31 email to the Bishop of Down & Dromore, the Rt. Rev. Harold Miller, and to the bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the Bishop of Maridi, the Rt. Rev. Justin Badi Arama said Christmas was celebrated with “both tears and joy” in his diocese.
Beginning on Christmas Eve the LRA began its attacks. “Six people have been killed two by gunshot and the rest by chopping with pangas and axes,” the bishop said. “Sixteen people abducted, nine children and the rest are elderly men and women. Seventeen houses burnt and properties looted and destroyed, especially food items.”
Almost 5000 people have been driven from their villages to the South and East of Maridi, taking shelter in the town center, Bishop Badi Arama reported.
On Dec 14 elements of the Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudan armies, supported by Ugandan jet aircraft, attacked LRA base camps in the Garamba forest of the Bas Uélé district of the Congo. The strikes against the rebel group which has terrorized Northern Uganda came after LRA leader Joseph Kony (pictured) failed to appear at a Nov 29 meeting to sign a final peace agreement.
Ugandan church leaders had cautioned against military strikes, warning it would atomize the LRA. Past strikes against Kony’s troops have succeeded in breaking up his forces, estimated to number between 650 and 1000, but following the campaign the LRA has been able to regroup and recommence its terror campaign.
On Jan 3 the Kamala Monitor reported that according to sources in the Ugandan army, Kony had separated from the main body of his troops and was north of Maridi, along the fringes of the Garamba forest. A region of dense tropical forest not easily monitored by air, Kony can move south to Uganda from Maridi or West into the Central African Republic, using the forests to hide as he rebuilds his army.
While Kony and the LRA decide upon their next move, the people of Maridi have become the latest casualties of the 22 year old guerilla war. “Please pray for us that this situation may improve soon,” Bishop Badi Arama said.
Archbishop wants Congo action: CEN 12.12.08 p 1. December 14, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for military intervention in the Congo to end that country’s civil war.
On Dec 3, Dr. Rowan Williams released a joint statement with the leaders of Britain’s Roman Catholic, Reformed and Orthodox churches calling for “an immediate strengthening of peacekeeping forces in the region to protect civilians and provide safe passage for the humanitarian aid, to the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable and displaced civilians, at risk of being caught up in fighting between various armed groups as well as being victims of targeted attacks against them.”
While military might was needed to stem the immediate humanitarian crisis, a “lasting political solution” that addressed “the persistent and underlying issues of justice, human rights, the integration of rebel forces into the national army and the management natural resources,” they said.
The church leaders applauded the work of the churches “on the ground” in the Congo who were seeking to “address the overwhelming physical and psychological needs of their communities.”
However, many Congolese “without shelter, in the middle of the rainy season” were “hungry, frightened and sick, [and] many also face daily intimidation and violence. These men, women and children cannot wait any longer for the international community to act,” the church leaders said and called for the UN to strengthen its 17,000-man peacekeeping force in the eastern Congo “in a matter of weeks not months.”
Called a “silent genocide” by the Congolese Roman Catholic bishops, the fighting between rival warlords and the Congolese army has displaced “over one million people” Anglican Bishop Bahati Balibusane of Bukavu said last month.
Men, women, children are living outside, in schools, in Churches and in some hospitable families. They don’t have water, food, materials, clothes, utensils and latrines. These people living in hardship are exposed to hunger, illness and death of some fathers, mothers and children,” he wrote in a call released through the Congo Church Association for “urgent spiritual, material and financial support.”
‘Silent Genocide’ unfolding in the Congo: CEN 11.28.08 p 7. November 30, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper, Terrorism.
Read it all at the Church of England Newspaper.
A “silent genocide” is unfolding in Central Africa, church leaders have warned, as soldiers loyal to rebel General Laurent Nkunda march upon government troops holding the city of Goma in the Kivu province of the eastern Congo.
In a statement released through the Congo Church Association, Bishop Bahati Balibusane of Bukavu warns that “over one million people” have been displaced by the fighting. “Men, women, children are living outside, in schools, in Churches and in some hospitable families. They don’t have water, food, materials, clothes, utensils and latrines. These people living in hardship are exposed to hunger, illness and death of some fathers, mothers and children,” he wrote in a call for “urgent spiritual, material and financial support.”
Church aid agencies report the fighting between Congolese troops and the rebels has led to widespread atrocities. The Barnabas Fund reports ” young men [have been] killed, women raped by retreating government troops, children kidnapped and forcibly recruited as child soldiers to fight a war that is not their own, soldiers and militias [are] pillaging and looting, and hundreds of thousands of displaced people [are] fleeing for their lives.”
Catholic bishops in the Congo report the UN’s 17,000 strong peacekeeping force has proven ineffectual. Widespread massacres, targeted killings of the young, and systematic rapes are taking place “under the impassive eyes of those who have received a mandate to keep the peace and protect the population,” the bishops said according to the Catholic charity, Caritas.
Church leaders have been shuttling between Kinshasa and Kigali, hoping to broker a ceasefire between Congolese troops and General Nkunda. Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi last week led a delegation of church leaders from the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to visit Presidents Paul Kigame of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of the Congo.
“It is impossible for us to preach the love of God in Jesus Christ while keeping silent in the face of the effects of such a serious humanitarian disaster as the suffering of children fleeing into the bush with or without their parents, women atrociously raped, abused and sometimes buried alive, old people and innocent civilians cowardly killed, and the malicious destruction of property and community life,” the 5-man ecumenical delegation led by Archbishop Ntahoturi told the Congolese president.
The All Africa Conference of Churches commissioned Archbishop Ntahoturi, the Anglican Bishop of Byumba in Rwanda the Rt. Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Bishop Dieudonné Mbaya Tshiakany, moderator of the National Synod of the Church of Christ in Congo, Bishop Jean-Luc Kuye-Ndondo wa Mulemera, president of the Church of Christ in Congo in South Kivu, and Dr Kakule Molo, president of the Baptist Conference of Central Africa, to intercede with government leaders.
On Oct 23 leaders of churches from the Great Lakes region met in Nairobi and called upon their governments to end the fighting. “People are tired and want an end to the war,” and “dialogue costs much less than armed confrontation,” they said.
Tribal jealousies, greed, and unresolved disputes from the 1994 Rwandan genocide are fueling the fighting. Following the 1994 genocide, a number of radical Hutus fled Rwanda for the Congo, forming the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and have continued their depredations against Congolese Tutsis.
All the while rival warlords have clashed over control of the Congo’s natural wealth in the vacuum left by the collapse of the Mobutu regime. The UN meanwhile has stood back from the fighting, and has not disarmed the ‘genocidaires’ of 1994 nor the warlords.
Church leaders join peace talks in Congo: CEN 1.16.08 January 16, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
| All-party peace talks have begun in the Congo to seek an end to the civil wars that have plagued the Eastern Congo since the downfall of President Joseph Mobutu.
Over 800 delegates representing the spectrum of political and social life of the Eastern Congo have gathered in Goma on Jan 9 for the eight day conference.
Representatives of the government in Kinshasa, the army, rebels loyal to General Laurent Nkunda, Hutu Interahamwe militants exiled from Rwanda following the 1994 genocide, and various militias known as Mayi Mayi are meeting with Church and tribal leaders, as well as foreign NGOs to broker a peace agreement for the region.
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.
Archbishop Dirokpa of the Congo December 1, 2007Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of the Congo, Primates Meeting 2007.
The Most Rev Fidele Dirokpa, Archbishop of the Congo and Bishop of Kinshasa. Photo take Feb 18, 2007 in Zanzibar.
Government is ‘failing Africa’: CEN 11.16.07 p 7. November 17, 2007Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of the Congo, Arms Control/Defense/Peace Issues, Church of England Newspaper, House of Lords, NGOs.
The Bishop of Winchester has lambasted the government for backing away from its commitments toward Africa. Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt told the House of Lords on Nov 7 his ears were “cocked for one word in particular-Africa-but cocked in vain,” as he listened to the Queen’s speech.
Bishop Scott-Joynt urged the government to turn its attention towards the Congo and address the on-going instability in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa.
He asked the government what it was doing to ensure land reform, the demobilization of militias, and the support of nascent democratic institutions. Why would it not “funnel aid through church-based organisations? How [did] the Government view the contemporary scramble for Africa by China and a range of Islamic states?”, he asked.
He asked the government to tell Parliament who was funding the wars across the region, “because it would be good to get to the bottom of the matter.”
“Who is running the Great Lakes region,” Bishop Scott-Joynt demanded to know.
“Human rights abuses and impunity from them” were the rule in the Congo, he said. While there had been great strides in democratic reform, the “the place is very little better,” he said.
“There is a crying need for the accountability of the justice and police systems to be worked at and, if security sector reform is not given priority, there will be no peace and security within Congo or along and across its borders, no containing of pillage of mineral resources, and no working at good relationships with the countries of the Great Lakes region,” Bishop Scott-Joynt argued.
He asked the government where had “gone the front-line commitment-the concentration of the last Prime Minister and the present one when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the Commission for Africa?”
It had been fobbed off “to a thing called the Africa Partnership Forum, whose latest report the Government have not thought worth bringing to Parliament,” Bishop Scott-Joynt said.
Stability and nation-building in the Great Lakes Region was a matter “of deepest urgency” he said, urging the government to honor its commitments to the people of Africa.
The Most Rev. Fidele Dirokpa, Bishop of Kinshasa and Archbishop of the Congo at the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Feb 16, 2006. First published by The Church of England Newspaper.