AFRICA/DR CONGO - “We have yet to verify the presence of the bodies of the three Assumptionist priests in mass graves discovered” says the Bishop Butembo-Beni

Friday, 28 February 2014

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – Still uncertain the plight and whereabouts of three Congolese Assumptionist Fathers (Augustinians of the Assumption), abducted in 2012 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Facebook page of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper, reports the finding of the body of Father Jean-Pierre Ndulani, who had worked for some time in Scotland: in 2012 then he returned to his country for a few weeks holiday he was kidnapped.
In a telephone conversation with Fides, Bishop Melchisedech Sikuli Paluku of the diocese Butembo-Beni, in which the three priests were serving, is prudent: “I have been informed of the discovery of two mass graves containing various bodies, but it is not certain that among them are the bodies of one or all three of the Assumptionist fathers abducted in October 2012, the matter is being verified. At the moment I am in Kinshasa, but I remain contact with the provincial Superior of the Order to follow the case ”.
The three priests, Jean-Pierre Ndulani, Anselme Wasikundi and Edmond Bamutute, were abducted around 9pm on 19 October in 2012 from the parish of Notre-Dame des Pauvres di Mbau, situated some 22 km from Beni and 70 km from the Bishops house at Butembo (see Fides 22/10/2012; 21/10/2013).
Various armed groups operating in the area include the Ugandan group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), based in the DRC and responsible for various acts of violence against the local people. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/2/2014)