Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "We follow with great attention, emotion and dismay, the xenophobic and barbaric acts", says an open letter from the Council of the Apostolate of the Catholic Laity of the Congo (CALCC) addressed to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In its letter, CALCC, which groups together various groups, movements and associations of the Congolese laity, underlines that "the xenophobic acts committed in South Africa are added to the brutal expulsions suffered by the Congolese in the recent past, in Angola and in Congo Brazzaville, justified in the name of the fight against illegal migration in these Countries".
Recent attacks against foreign communities living in South Africa have resulted in at least 12 deaths and material damage to the commercial activities they manage. Although the violence targeted, at least in the beginning, the Nigerian community, also other foreign communities living in South Africa have been affected, including the Congolese community. At least 200 Nigerians have been forced to repatriate to escape violence.
The xenophobic acts have aroused indignation throughout Africa, and there have been episodes of retaliation against South African interests in other countries of the continent. In Lubumbashi, in the south-east of the DRC, a South African chain store was looted by the angry crowd and even in the capital, Kinshasa, attempts were made to attack a South African-owned supermarket and the sales points of a South African cell phone company thwarted by the police.
CALCC calls on the government of Kinshasa to "guarantee the protection of our compatriots in South Africa" and the Congolese "to increase prayer meetings, so as not to fall into the temptation of revenge". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2019)