AFRICA/DR CONGO - More attacks against priests and nuns; unknown persons assault Paida parish in North Kivu

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 bishops   politics   armed groups  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "From Kinshasa to North-Kivu, churches, convents and Catholic schools are vandalized, looted and attacked by armed bandits, rebels or other uncivilized persons", denounces CEPADHO, an NGO based in North Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
In addition to the events that have taken place in Kasai (see Fides 01/04/2017), the statement sent to Agenzia Fides, reported that on Sunday, April 2, "unknown persons carried out a raid in the parish of Paida in the town of Beni in the province of North Kivu. Three priests, including the treasurer, were tortured. The bandits stole money, computers and other goods. The victims are safe by a miracle". Even the nearby Catholic schools were looted.
According to CEPADHO these episodes are intended to "punish" the commitment of Bishops in the political mediation that led to the signing of the 31 December agreements, which provide for the creation of a government of national unity which will organize the presidential and parliamentarian elections within the year.
In late March, however, the Catholic Bishops Conference renounced to continue the mediation for the implementation of these agreements (see Fides 28/03/2017)
"CEPADHO stresses that the political impasse is not the bishops and the Catholic Church’s fault, but of the Congolese political class that is blocking the implementation of the December 31 agreement". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2017)