March 24, 2017

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CONGO: Bishops Cancel Europe Tour as Violence Flares back Home

KINSHASHA FEBRUARY 14, 2017(CISA) – Catholic Bishops of Congo have cancelled a tour to Europe due to Clashes between militia loyal to deceased tribal leader Kamwina Nsapu and the military.

Bishop Felicien Mwanama Galumbulula of the Catholic Diocese of Luiza who was leading the delegation interrupted the journey and returned immediately to his diocese.

“Violence and unimaginable atrocities have been committed against peaceful citizens. I was told that in the clashes there were deaths, mainly in Ngwema and Mubinza. The exact toll is difficult to determine at the moment,” Fides quoted the bishop as saying.

The Bishop added that the population is too horrified with the atrocities committed against them to the point that it is impossible to organize the funeral of the victims.

“The population is in the throes of psychosis to the point that it is impossible to organize the funeral of the victims,” he said.

The bishop also said that some parishes have been abandoned and looted with priests from Ngwema and Mubinza having to evacuate to another area.

“The parishes of Mubinza, Ngwema, Lubi,Kamponde and Mikele are shocked. Some have been abandoned and looted. Ngwema and Mubinza are the most affected by the violence whose priests had to walk day and night to find refuge in another area,” he said.

The United Nations mission on February 11 strongly condemned the persistent conflict in the Kansai provinces.

According to United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the African Country (MONUSCO), the militia is recruiting and using child soldiers while targeting symbols and Institutions of State authority.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General and head of MONUSCO, Maman Sidikou called upon Congolese security forces to act in line with acceptable standards of national and international laws  in their response to the situation.

He also condemned actions by the militia and said the mission supports credible investigation to this regrettable situation.

MONUSCO has deployed one of its mobile team in the area to possibly prevent, investigate and document human rights violations in line with its mandate. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll at between 30-50 deaths resulting from the clashes.

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