In a statement released May 22, Catholic bishops in one of the continent’s most Catholic nations denounced “the ignoble and violent savage repression on the marchers, especially the minors found on their route, by the forces of law and order and its partner militias. In carrying out their macabre work, they did not hesitate to fire live ammunition, even aiming at the vehicle of a political leader.”
The bishops’ conference “condemns in the strongest terms all these monstrosities described above as well as the violence that followed, wherever it came from. It expects the competent authorities to take concrete action, beyond the media promises of investigations and justice (to which we are accustomed and which often remain unfulfilled), in order to put this whole series of easily identifiable thugs out of action,” the statement said.
The Congolese Minister of Human Rights, Albert-Fabrice Puela, joined the bishops in condemning “acts of repression” and “brutality” against the demonstrators including “minors”.