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In 2nd appeal in 4 days, pope pleas for peace in Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo protest died new year mass
JOHN WESSELS / AFP
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Asks everyone to avoid all forms of violence

At the end of his General Audience today, Pope Francis made another plea for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at risk of sliding back into full-scale civil war for the third time in 20 years.

“Unfortunately, troubling news continues to come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Therefore, I renew my call for everyone to commit to avoiding all forms of violence,” he said. “For her part the Church wants nothing other than to contribute to the peace and to the common good of society.”

The pope made a similar appeal  Sunday on the last day of his apostolic journey to Peru when he appealed to DRC authorities to do everything in their power to avoid all forms of violence.

Violent political clashes have erupted in the DRC as protesters, banned by the Congolese government, demand that President Joseph Kabila step down.

Dozens of people have died in protests, and militia violence has increased, prompting fears of a return to civil war.

Kabila’s term ran out in December 2016, but no elections have been held. He has ruled for 17 years already.

The country is about half Catholic.

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