DRC: Church Faults Local Authorities for Attack on Parish

KINSHASA, MARCH 3, 2015(CISA) – Director of the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace , Father Justin Nkunzi  has condemned the local authorities for failing to conduct a thorough investigation on criminal gangs.

“It is a great pity that the local authorities are failing to investigate thoroughly the clearly organised criminal gangs marauding in the area and prevent them from attacking innocent citizens,” said Fr  Nkunzi.

Heavily armed men attacked Mater Dei parish in Bukavu on March 1. The intervention of the local parish population to rescue the church prevented further attacks.

“This is not the first time the Mater Dei Parish has come under attack,” said Fr Nkunzi who also lives in the same parish.

Fr Nkunzi had also been ambushed by unidentified gunmen at the parish gate.

He said that his commission is dismayed at the lack of security in the area in spite of drawing the attention of the local authorities to the many incidents.

Bishop Théophile Kaboy Ruboneka of the Catholic Diocese Bishop of Goma   also condemned the state of insecurity in the area following the killing of a priest.

Fr Jean-Paul Kakule Kyalembera, of the parish of Mweso (in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) was killed in an apparent robbery attempt on the evening of 25 February, reported Fides.

According to Bishop Kaboy the incident appeared to be an act of banditry and the current situation in the area “remains very dangerous.”

“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,”stated the Bishop.