Catholic bishops and other religious leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo have played an active role during July and August in collecting at least 10 million signatures on a petition to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling on the international community to end the continuing conflict in the east of the country.
Spokesperson Fr Donatien Shole said the Congolese churches are demanding that the Rwandan Government "stop once and for all the invasion of DR Congo, the looting of its wealth, and rapes of Congolese women".
Rwanda stands accused of supporting rebel soldiers who have brought terror to North and South Kivu provinces. The petition also demanded that all war criminals be brought to justice by the International Criminal Court and other international bodies.
Above: Families fleeing renewed fighting between the Congolese army and rebels seek shelter at a church in Rumangabo, Congo. Photo: CNS/James Akena, Reuters