AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The mission of Our Lady of Fatima in Bouar ransacked

Monday, 30 September 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - An Italian missionary and a Central African deacon are the latest victims of the rebels Seleka. "On September 28, Fr. Beniamino Gusmeroli, an Italian missionary fromValtellina, and Fr. Martial Mengue, a Central African deacon were at the mercy of the rebels Seleka for three hours, who gagged and threatened to kill the guard and entered the house armed with Kalashnikovs", says a statement sent to Fides Agency by the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bétharram to which the two religious belong.
The incident took place in the mission of Our Lady of Fatima in Bouar (in the northwest of the Central African Republic). "This is the second mission of the diocese which gets damaged in a week during the night", said Fr. Gusmeroli, who reports what happened: "We are talking about a group of 5 men who were armed to their teeth, foreigners, of Sudanese origin, capable of saying a few words in French and Sango"
"They gagged and tied Fr. Martial and headed towards Fr. Benjamin’s room, where they began to raid everything they found".
"Given the attempts of resistance on behalf of Fr. Benjamin, they also bound and gagged him and were able to put everything upside down and steal money, computer, camera, mobile and everything that interested them".
"Fr. Martial was taken hostage - released then a little later".
"Again this is another act of arrogance and looting carried out by the rebels, now uncontrolled and uncontrollable by the authorities. This is the umpteenth sign of how the situation is deteriorating if there is no decisive intervention on behalf of the international community", the statement concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/09/2013)