August 9, 2022
For media interviews contact
Lydia Andrews, Communications Manager

Washington, DC – The Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), a Catholic 501(c)3 organization, sent a letter to US Secretary of State, Antony John Blinken, ahead of his visit to Africa where Secretary Blinken is expected to make a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.  In the letter, AFJN urged Secretary Blinken to hold frank discussions on “Rwanda’s violations of DRC’s territorial integrity, bad governance in the DRC”, and the role of the UN peacekeepers in DRC. 

“The Africa Faith and Justice Network urges Secretary Blinken to frankly engage with political leaders of the region in discussions that address key security concerns in the DRC” said AFJN Executive Director Steven Nabieu Rogers. “Sometimes, diplomacy has not been forceful enough  to highlight controversial issues in a manner that goes to the heart of the matter. And when this happens, bad leaders are let off the hook, at the detriment of the people on the ground.”

The letter also urges the US government to call out the destabilizing factors that continue to threaten the peace and tranquility of the DRC.  Being a largely landlocked nation, neighboring countries continue to engage in activities that negatively impact the security of the Congolese people. The letter also questions the efficacy of the UN’s mandate in light of the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the country.  

“There continues to be an ever increasing call from the Congolese people for MONUSCO to withdraw from the DRC” said Dr. Rogers. “Whether or not the UN succeeded in its mandate in the DRC does not change the Congolese people’s perception of MONUSCO as a ‘cash cow’ rather than the peacekeeping force it was set out to be.”

The letter urges the US government to reevaluate the relevance of the UN peacekeeping missions’ continued presence in the DRC after more than 20 year.  

“Recognizing the largely complex historical and political context of the conflict in the DRC,” continued Dr. Rogers, who is an expert on the political-economy of Africa,  “it is imperative that the people of that country exercise their right to self determination, which we believe they are capable of doing in the present political environment.”

The letter also encourages DRC President Felix Tshisekedi to redouble his efforts at institutional reforms. Acknowledging the progress made by his government through the General Inspectorate of Finance in rooting out corruption, AFJN encourages the US government to support these types of efforts.

“The positive impact of the work of the DRC General Inspectorate of Finance to increase transparency and accountability is essential” said Dr. Rogers. “The US government must support these efforts.” 

Read the Department of State’s August 9, 2022 Fact Sheet here
Read AFJN’s August 8, 2022 letter to Secretary Blinken here.


The Africa Faith and Justice Network is a faith-based, non-partisan coalition of 28 US-based religious communities of men and women. Inspired by the Gospel and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, AFJN seeks to educate and advocate for just relations with Africa and to work in partnership with African people as they engage in the struggle for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.


Available for Interview: 

Steven Nabieu Rogers, PhD
Executive Director

For media interviews contact:
Lydia Andrews, Communications Manager