From the smallest village to the biggest town in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) people are yearning for peace, says Fredrick Nzwili. Church leaders are encouraging the rebel fighters to disarm.
Sixteen-year-old Esther* is a new mother – her daughter, Emma, is one week old. Esther and Emma live in a makeshift camp for people uprooted by the long-running conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. For women and girls living here, motherhood often results not from the wish to build a family, nor from intimacy, but from rape.
The international Catholic aid network Caritas says that around 400 people may have been killed in massacres carried out by rebels in Congo in late December, following a spate of violence in the country.
Tearfund’s church partner agencies are delivering lifesaving food, water, shelter and emergency medical supplies to some of the tens of thousands of families affected by the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congolese Catholic bishops have issued a "cry of grief and protest" about the murderous situation in their country - calling for more concerted action from the UN, the authorities and the international community.