Church Leads Protests Against DR Congo M23 Rebels

Thousands of people across the Democratic Republic of Congo have taken part in protests against the M23 rebel group – one of dozens fighting in the east of the country.

The Catholic church called for people to take to the streets and much of the anger was directed at Rwanda which DR Congo accuses of backing the M23 rebels – something Kigali denies.

As people streamed out of Sunday services across the country, they then marched for peace.

The Catholic church is hugely influential in the country. Some church leaders are calling on Western countries to take a tougher stance against the Rwandan government for backing the M23 rebels.

Banners at protests in Kinshasa opposed the balkanisation of DR Congo and spoke of the hypocrisy of the international community.

Regional talks have been taking place to try to stop the violence.

Several East African countries are sending in troops but in the past the involvement of multiple armies has only complicated the conflict in the mineral-rich eastern DR Congo.