DRC: Joseph Kabila and Moïse Katumbi shake hands during a mass in Lubumbashi

Opponent Moïse Katumbi in Kigali, Rwanda on April 27, 2018. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

The forum on the unity and reconciliation of Katangese has just closed its doors this Sunday, May 22 in Lubumbashi.

The ceremony took place during a mass said by Monsignor Fulgence Muteba, Archbishop of Lubumbashi.

On this occasion, hundreds of personalities attended a handshake between Joseph Kabila and Moïse Katumbi.

It should be remembered that these two politicians have just gone through a long period of high tension following their political opinions.

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With our correspondent in Lubumbashi,

Denise Maheho

At 10 a.m., the area around Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral is packed with people.

Nobody wants to miss the reconciliation ceremony.

An hour later, it is the beginning of the mass.

In the cathedral, Moses Katumbi, dressed in a white shirt, is seated to the right of the altar.

On the left, Joseph Kabila, former head of state, alone occupies a place reserved for him.

The mass lasts more than two hours.

Then comes the long-awaited moment.

The Archbishop of Lubumbashi announces that the two Katangese leaders have decided to make a gesture of reconciliation.

Moise Katumbi then advances towards Joseph Kabila.

All smiling, the two men shake hands to applause.

Joseph #Kabila and @moise_katumbi greeted each other and exchanged a few words this Sunday 05/22/2022 in #Lubumbashi on the occasion of the mass relating to the reconciliation forum between Katangese, mass celebrated by Archbishop Fulgence #Muteba #RDC @Ensemble_MK @pprdofficiel #DRC pic.twitter.com/BnxhWVh1n5

— TOP CONGO FM (@TopCongo) May 22, 2022

Another strong moment is the rite of reconciliation.

The two politicians washed their hands in a basin of water, a symbol that marks a new beginning.

This ceremony took place at the end of the mass on the forecourt of the cathedral, in the presence of all the religious leaders and the curious.

Finally, everyone shared a meal, where Joseph Kabila addressed the young people calling on them to follow up on the recommendations of the forum, because, he said, today's ceremony is more about the unity of Katanga.

Forum participants also recommended the release of Katangans arrested for their political opinions.

Lubumbashi: handshake between Joseph Kabila and Moïse Katumbi https://t.co/symEBz6GeD pic.twitter.com/uV2z3Lc4OV

— Radio Okapi (@radiookapi) May 22, 2022

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  • ground floor

  • Joseph Kabila

  • Moses Katumbi

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