A ceasefire has been declared in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville, following gun battles which killed at least 17 people and injured many more. Thousands of residents who had been sheltering in the safety of The Salvation Army's centres in the city have started returning to their homes. However, attacks have now flared up in the Pool Département which adjoins the capital. The Salvation Army is responding by opening additional refugee camps to receive displaced people from the affected villages.

Leader of The Salvation Army's Congo (Brazzaville) Territory, Commissioner Onal Castor, explains: "Many have lost their lives, and people are scared. A thousand refugee families remain at our Moungali corps hall, too frightened to leave. Villagers from Pool are now coming to Brazzaville for security, but we are not sure if the temporary ceasefire in the city will hold. We are making plans to accommodate more people safely."

Commissioner Castor is grateful for the prayer offered by Salvationists and friends worldwide and asks that intercession for the military situation in Congo continues. Meanwhile, The Salvation Army's world leader General André Cox repeated his call to pray for the central African nation at this unsettling time.

"Violence is not the answer," he said. "Commissioner Silvia and I pray that peace would prevail, and encourage Salvationists worldwide to be faithful in praying for the Republic of Congo and its people. We pray too for strength and wisdom for the dedicated Salvation Army officers and staff of the Congo Brazzaville Territory who are selflessly supporting displaced people despite their own difficulties."

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