Peace Symposium Will Go On In D.R. Of Congo

Despite Disorders in City of Kisangani

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ROME, MAY 21, 2002 ( the uproar in Kisangani last week, the International Symposium for Peace will be held there as scheduled.

The announcement was made to the ( missionary agency on Monday by Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kisangani, a city located in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The meeting, with an attendance of 216 European lay people committed to peace, was nearly called off due to the violence that broke out in the city early last week.

Local authorities described the incidents as an attempt at insurrection by dissident elements, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people, mostly civilians.

Following the disturbances, leaders of the Congolese Democratic Coalition (RCD-Goma), the rebel movement that controls the region, aided by the military and political support of Rwanda, first imposed a curfew and then prohibited all public appearances.

However, Archbishop Monsengwo stated that they will allow the Symposium to be held, after suggesting some modifications to the program. The Symposium will now begin a day later than planned, on May 24, and will close on May 27.

The congress will emphasize that peace will come to the Congo only through dialogue, not violence.

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