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Africa

2003-09-04

AFRICA/DEMOCRATIC CONGO - CATHOLIC CHURCH DEEPLY CONCERNED FOR SITUATION KISANGANI, ONCE CONGO’S THIRD LARGEST CITY

Kinshasa (Fides Service )- The Catholic Church in Congo has voiced deep concern for the situation in Kisangani, in the north eastern part of Democratic Congo. This is reported in the latest issue of DIA local church bulletin in an interview with Jesuit Father Michel Lobunda, who says that Kisangani, once the country’s third largest city is no more than a large village. The few existing hospitals have no means to treat the patients. AIDS is decimating the population and many fall prey to witchcraft hoping to solve their problems.
Since 1998, Kisangani has been in the hands of the rebel Congolese group for Democracy (RCD)-Goma, one of the largest rebel groups fighting the central government in Kinshasa. In this context very often the only point of reference for the people is the local Church. Besides carrying on with pastoral work church organisations are involved in many social activities: anti-AIDS campaigns; running schools and health centres; setting up NGOs to assist women victims of war and violence; promotion of human rights. It should also be said that the international NGOs, including MONUC Un Mission in Congo. (L.M) (Fides Service 4/9/2003, lines 21 words 225)

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