Peace marches organised by the Catholic Church took place across the DR Congo Sunday to protest violence in the country’s east, days after an alleged massacre of civilians. Protesters chanted slogans such as “No to the international community’s hypocrisy” and “No to the balkanisation of the DR Congo” at rallies in the capital Kinshasa and other towns. Clutching rosaries, crucifixes and banners and singing religious songs, demonstrators of all ages heeded the call by the Church to oppose the “aggression” in the troubled east. However, a march planned for the key eastern city of Goma, on the border with Rwanda, was called off to avoid “a possible infiltration”. The government has said that the death toll from an alleged massacre of civilians in the east last week runs to “more than 100”. It has accused the M23 militia — with whom it is locked in a months-long conflict — of the killings at Kishishe, a village around 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of Goma. The M23 over the weekend again denied it was responsible, after already calling the allegations “baseless”. However its leader Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement that eight civilians had been killed by “stray bullets” during clashes in the village on Tuesday.