“There are persecutions and massacres every day” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the international community turns a blind eye to this, says Father Marcelo de Oliveira, a Portuguese missionary in the African country.
The chief administrator of Komboni Province Missionaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo speaks in an interview Renaissancethat attacks are permanent in an area of the country where “cobalt is a source of wealth.”
“There are persecutions and massacres every day, there are people who are tortured, people who are forced to leave their homes and forced to flee,” condemns a priest who has lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for 15 years.
The eastern provinces of the DRC, notably North Kivu and neighboring Ituri, have “lived for decades in a state of constant instability due to the presence of various armed groups.
Born in Mortagua, Viseu district, the missionary says that in the Congo “no one escapes persecution.” “Catholics, Protestants and sects are treated equally”, given that “the religious question does not affect the situation at all”.
The priest says that “the Church is being persecuted, but to be a Christian means to be persecuted.” “The Catholic Church, which has great weight in public life, which has a large number of Catholics, which, by vocation, denounces, tells the truth and strives to defend the rights of the people, of course, is not appreciated by the simple,” he emphasizes.
The world “crossed its arms” on the problems in Africa
The priest admits that the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, is ready to fight corruption, but says that, on the one hand, the government is involved in the situation, and on the other hand, it is powerless to resolve it.
“The complicity is there to keep getting what they get from the stuff they sell and ship out of the country anyway,” he explains.
On the other hand, Marcelo’s father accuses the international community of doing nothing for the suffering people of the Congo and trying to “keep capitalizing on the wealth of the country” by sending “weapons to be able to keep up the unrest and thus keep on stealing easily” . .
“The Congo is a very rich country, and it is a bit strange that such a rich country is at the same time so poor. There is gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt, soil that could give twice a year, it’s hard to understand,” the missionary laments, and then accuses: “there are interests from outside (the international community) to be able to continue to benefit from everything rich, and so they keep sending weapons to keep the mess going and thus easily keep stealing.”
The missionary ensures that “when there is a problem in Africa, everyone folds their hands” and gives an example of the reluctance to find a cure for malaria, which “kills a huge number of people every day”, and now with Covid-19. 19 pandemic “the whole world plunged into disaster.”
The priest assures that “there are more people who die in Africa from malaria than those who die from Covid”, and rhetorically asks: “Who created a medicine to treat poor Africans? The problem of malaria after all this time?”
Marcelo’s father replies, “No one, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. Since we cannot profit from what we do, it is not important to make medicine, it is not important to help a country that will not repay us, ”he laments.
Pope ‘deeply wishes’ to visit Congo
In this interview with RenaissanceFather Marcelo Oliveira assures that “the population still expects that soon” the Pope will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He believes that “for people living in conditions of constant attacks, persecution, the visit of the Pope would be a moment of encouragement.”
First of all, because Francis planned a visit to the city of Goma in the eastern part of the country, “where he will be with some victims of violence, and, of course, these people may be a little disappointed.”
“However, the population continues to expect that he will be able to come to us soon,” he assures.
The priest confirms that the Pope “deeply desires to be and come” to the Congo to “know the reality” and acknowledges that “the celebration planned for this Sunday with the Congolese community at St. Parolina in Kinshasa “is a sign of such a will.”
“The Pope deeply desires to be and come, because I believe he has heard so much about the reality of the suffering of the Congolese people, and therefore he has a deep desire to be able to come,” he assures.
Francis’ trip to South Sudan and the Congo, scheduled for July 2-7, has been rescheduled for a new date to be fixed due to the Pope’s health.