Congo’s bishops welcome cease-fire but warn about country’s future

KINSHASA, Congo (CNS) — The Congolese bishops’ conference welcomed a fragile cease-fire in northeastern Congo but warned that the future of the country still hangs in the balance. In a mid-February message titled “Be Vigilant,” the bishops’ permanent council called on the Congolese to “watch out for” and “uncover” any plan to divide the country or illegally exploit its abundant natural resources. The bishops also said reforming the Congolese army should be the top priority to bring peace and stability in the country. They said the Congolese people do not wish to see a renewal of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, known as MONUC, in their country. “We deplore the government’s tardiness in establishing a national army that is capable of defending our populations and ensuring the integrity of our territory, to the extent that we have to rely on foreign armies,” they said. “Many people are asking questions about the presence of the latter on our territory, their exact mandate, the nature and content of the accords that have allowed them into our country as well as their respect of the end of their mandate.”

Iraq Troop Withdrawal or Occupation-Lite?

Foreign Policy in Focus

by Phyllis Bennis
President Barack Obama said directly that he would be announcing “a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.” As far as it goes, that sounds good. This is an indication that President Obama is largely keeping to his campaign promises, and that’s a hopeful sign, reflecting the power of the anti-war consensus in this country. Continue reading Iraq Troop Withdrawal or Occupation-Lite?

Drip, drip, drip (Resource for First Week of Lent)

Seven Weeks for Water
Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6.8b)
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. (Psalm 42.1)

waterLike the ticking of a clock marking out time, water drips noisily. Maybe it drips off the edge of a stone or roof in times of rain and plenty, or perhaps from a badly turned off tap in societies where earth’s most precious and vital resource is unconsciously wasted. Continue reading Drip, drip, drip (Resource for First Week of Lent)