Afcon 2023: DR Congo squad use spotlight to call for peace in country – Capital Radio Malawi
18 June, 2024

Afcon 2023: DR Congo squad use spotlight to call for peace in country

Members of DR Congo’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations squad have used the opportunity of being in the international spotlight to call for peace in the troubled eastern region of their country.

Dozens of armed groups – including the notorious M23 rebels – have long plagued the mineral-rich east of the Central African nation, battling for control of the land there.

Last year, conflict between the groups, which include pro-government militia, flared after a precarious six-month truce ended in October, with at least 60 civilians reportedly killed during attacks in North Kivu that month alone.

Today the fighting continues within 25km (15 miles) of the province’s main city of Goma, in a region where the government in Kinshasa has failed to get a grip on security for the past three decades.

According to the United Nations the heightened conflict has pushed 6.9 million people to flee their homes – with the organisation saying that DR Congo is facing one of the “largest humanitarian crises in the world”.

“Everyone sees the massacres in Eastern Congo. But everyone is silent,” DR Congo striker Cedric Bakambu wrote on social media, external.

“Use the same energy that you put into talking about the Nations Cup to highlight what is happening with us. There are no small gestures.”

On Wednesday, DR Congo play 2023 Afcon hosts Ivory Coast in Abidjan for a place in Sunday’s final.

Contesting a semi-final for only the second time this century, the former champions previously lifted the trophy in 1968 and 1974.

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