Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Fr. Étienne Sengiyumva, parish priest of Kitchanga, was killed yesterday, Sunday, April 8, in Kyahemba", says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Théophile Kaboy Ruboneka, Bishop of Goma, capital of North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Around 3pm, after celebrating Mass in Kyahemba a circumscription of his parish, Fr. Étienne had gathered his collaborators, when an armed man, accompanied by other people, entered the meeting room and killed the priest", says Mgr. Kaboy Ruboneka.
In a statement released to Agence France Presse, Mgr. Louis de Gonzague Nzabanita Sebakara, Vicar General of Goma, accused the Maï-Maï Nyatura group of the killing. Mgr. Kaboy Ruboneka told Fides that "it is difficult to say who was responsible of this terrible act. There are different armed groups in our region, at least 15, which cannot be dismantled despite the presence of the regular army and the Blue Helmets of MONUSCO (UN Mission in the DRC)".
"Fr. Étienne is the third priest killed in the area", recalls the Bishop. "Investigations on the perpetrators of these deaths never lead to anything. On our behalf, we will do everything to identify Fr. Étienne's murderers. In these cases, the witnesses fear for their lives and that of their loved ones and hardly offer useful information".
On Easter Sunday, Célestin Ngango, parish priest of Karambi (see Fides 4/4/2018) was kidnapped and released on 5 April (see Fides 7/4/2018), always in the diocese of Goma.
According to Mgr. Kaboy Ruboneka, there are no connections between the two episodes. "I repeat: in our region there are so many armed groups that it is difficult to understand who commits the action. Here in North Kivu we live in total chaos. The situation in my diocese of Goma, like that of Butembo-Beni, is incredible. We are completely abandoned by everyone; we live only thanks to Providence. I ask the faithful of the universal Church to pray for our region so that they can rediscover peace", concludes Mgr. Kaboy Ruboneka. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/4/2018)