The Archbishop of Kigali Archdiocese, Antoine Kambanda, has called for an end to the hate speech in DR Congo. He was speaking in a press conference on Saturday, May 20, as part of celebrating Communications Day in the Catholic church. Each year, the catholic church marks World Communications Day. In 2023, it will be celebrated on May 21 under the theme: Speaking with the heart. The truth in love. The cardinal’s speech backs the one of the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres who recently urged political and community leaders “to put an end to hate speech and incitement to violence.” Several organisations of survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and internationally-renowned scholars have expressed concern over what they termed as ‘rapidly growing hate speech targeting Kinyarwanda speakers in DR Congo’. In April 2023, Robert Wood, the Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations (UN), also called upon the government of DR Congo to denounce hate speech and hold accountable those who incite violence within its territory. ALSO READ: US diplomat calls on DR Congo to denounce hate speech, hold inciters accountable “In condemning the hate speech and torture in DRC, what the catholic church is doing is to convince through fraternity gospel that there are dangers from such hate speeches because we experienced this in Rwanda,” he said. Hate speech led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over one million lives. Cardinal Kambanda urged journalists to avoid hate speech in their daily work. “We seek partnership with the media to avoid hate speech in their career. We need the media to publish messages of peace, love, and fraternity to build a better society,” he said. Support to disaster-affected people Kambanda also pledged that the catholic church in Rwanda is mobilizing funds to support the people affected by flooding and landslides in Western and Northern provinces. The number of people killed by flash floods and landslides on May 2 and May 3 has risen to 135, the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management said on May 13. As noted, up to 110 people were injured by the disasters that hit Western, Northern, and Southern provinces. Thirteen people are still in hospital and one is still missing. Up to 5,963 houses were destroyed, leaving 20,326 people homeless. “We will soon announce in numbers, how much has been mobilized to support people affected by disasters,” he noted, explaining that there is support already provided. “Catholic church intervened to support disaster-affected people and Caritas Rwanda, a Catholic Church-funded charity, is mobilizing resources,” he noted. All dioceses are mobilizing resources to support disaster victims. “The Kigali Archdiocese has been collecting support in terms of money and materials and it will be provided soon,’ he said.