Switzerland: appeal of the bishops for Congo” “” “” “

An appeal to the Swiss Federal Council urging it to intervene materially and politically for the restoration of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo – where the situation is becoming increasingly dramatic and assuming the contours of genocide – has recently been made by the Swiss Episcopal Conference (SEC), in the form of a letter addressed to Pascal Couchepin, President of the Confederation. The SEC executive (composed of Bishops Amedée Grab, Kurt Koch and Norbert Brunner) reports the desperate words of Cardinal Frédèric Etsou, who asked the Swiss bishops for their help: “The situation in Congo in general, and in Bunia in particular, is becoming ever more worrying – writes Cardinal Etsou – and forces me to ring the alarm bell to make people hear the cries of desperation launched to the whole world by these men, women and children who have been violated, tortured, their throats cut and who… for lack of food, do not hesitate to feed on human flesh! People are fleeing from death, abandoning their homes and villages, taking with them people with injuries of every kind and have now sought refuge in the Episcopal curia in Bunia and in other public buildings…” The Swiss bishops also recall that the humanitarian organizations in Congo lack the means to treat the sick, feed the hungry and bury the dead, and therefore ask the president of the Confederation “to help this country not only materially, but also in the form of a commitment to peace, a support to all those working for the restoration of peace in this nation, and aid to restore and reactivate the Congolese infrastructures”.

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