Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The treasurer of the parish of Mweso (in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo), Father Jean-Paul Kakule Kyalembera, was killed in an apparent robbery attempt on the evening of 25 February.
"It appears to be an act of banditry" says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Théophile Kaboy Ruboneka, Bishop of Goma. "The priest was closing the doors of the church when he discovered one or more gunmen who were hiding somewhere. The criminals fired without hesitation, hitting him in the abdomen and head. Fr. Kakule died immediately".
Mgr. Kaboy adds that "three suspects have been arrested and are being subjected to questioning. The body of Fr. Kakule was transported to Goma. The Mass and the funeral will be celebrated tomorrow".
The Bishop of Goma highlights that "in our diocese there are many gangs that terrorize the population and there are too many weapons in circulation. Nuns are among the victims of violence and extortion, who are threatened with death if they do not pay a ransom of $ 4,000. The situation remains very dangerous", concluded Mgr. Kyalembera.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the pastor of the same church in which Fr. Kakule was killed, had escaped an murder attempt in November.
Also in North Kivu, there has been no news of the three Assumptionist priests kidnapped in their parish of Notre-Dame des Pauvres in Mbau, 22 km from Beni (see Fides 22/10/2012) since October 19, 2012. A fact that was recalled in a note of the Congolese Bishops' Conference on the killing of Fr. Kakule, which concludes: "after the abduction of the three Assumptionist priests, the Church of the DRC is still mourning the killing of a priest whose reasons remains unclear". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 27/02/2015)