By Arnold Neliba
ITURI, FEBRUARY 11, 2022 (CISA) -The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) has deplored the recent killings in the province of Ituri, North-east of DRC asking authorities to be prompt in protecting lives of the citizens.
In a February 9 statement, the bishops denounced the succession of sad and dramatic events which left people dead and injured in one week in the territory of Djugu, the province of Ituri.
“We address our deepest Christian condolences to all the families who have lost their loved ones in these tragedies and express to Bishop Dieudonné Uringi, Bishop of Bunia, to the people of Djugu and to the entire Church-family of God in the Diocese of Bunia, our compassion and our fraternal and spiritual closeness while assuring them of our prayers in the face of this dramatic situation”, adds Cenco in its statement.
CENCO also invites the authorities to “restore peace in this part of the national territory, to guarantee the safety of the population of these areas plagued by violence, and to prosecute the perpetrators of these despicable and unacceptable acts”.
The bishops urged the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) militiamen to stop their killings, further encouraging the population not to give in to manipulation and betrayal to be complicit with the enemies of peace.
“The situation of insecurity has lasted too long. It is time for the blood to stop flowing and for the fraternity between peoples and communities to be consolidated so that enemies reach out their hands and adversaries agree to walk part of the way together,” they add.
On January 31, assailants from CODECO, attacked and killed six injuring three people in Mambisa in the territory of Djugu, in the province of Ituri. Later on February 1, men from the same armed militia attacked the camp for displaced persons at the Plaine Savo site in Ituri province, and killed 63 people among them 24 women and 17 children. Two days later, on February 3, CODECO militiamen killed another person in Mulabo in Djugu.