Attacks on Rwandan migrants condemned

Zambia’s hierarchy has criticised governmental failures to stop xenophobic violence, following attacks on Rwandan migrants. “The government must anticipate events and make every effort to stop these behaviours,” said Fr Cleophas Lungu, Secretary General of Zambia’s bishops’ conference, describing how following four murders, residents responded to rumours of ritual murders by deciding “to take justice into their own hands”, looting shops and homes “belonging to foreigners and migrants, especially those from Rwanda”.

Several Rwandan migrants took refuge in a building owned by Lusaka’s St Ignatius Church, where President Edgar Chagwa Lungu visited and promised them “full protection”.

Fr Lungu thanked and praised those Catholics who offered food and clothing to those taking refuge in the Church buildings.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on behalf of Pope Francis, condemned the violence and commended Church efforts to help victims and build a culture of respect and peace.