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The assumptionist fathers

The three assumptionist fathers from Democratic Republic of Congo will accomplish one year in captivity.

Noviembre 2013 | Justicia y Solidaridad

In the night of october 18th to october 19th our three assumptionists priests BAMTUPE KISUGHU Edmond, MUMBERE NDULANI Jean-Pierre and KAKULE WASUKUNDI Anselme were kidnapped at the rectory of Our Lady of the Poor parish of Mbau, diocese of Butembo-beni, North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since this awful night nothing is known about their whereabouts. About 800 of other civilians, among them men, women, children and even babies, have been kidnapped the same way in the same region. Particularly, in the catholic parish of Oicha, Erigneti, Mbau, Buisegha, and Beni-Paida. Since last night the catholic parish of Maboya has joined this sad list with the kidnapping of Mr. MUTSUNGA Augustin, a medical doctor.

And from that day, the Church and all the people of the region are undergoing a nightmare. In fact, almost every two days, people are kidnapped, especially in Mbau, Oïcha, Eringeti, Buisegha, Beni-Paida parishes and sometimes in Mutwanga. This year has become the most painful for the Augustinians of the Assumption, the Christian community of Mbau, and the members of the nuclear families of the victims of kidnapping.

At the present, the anguish is so profound inasmuch as the fate of all these victims remains unknown. Investigations that have been undertaken so far, aiming at obtaining at least some news from and about them, are still unsuccessful. The governmental institutions, the civil society national and international NGO’s operating in the region have been contacted in order to participate in the liberation of the three priests and all the faithful in captivity, but all these efforts have been ruthless. It seems that they are confined in an inaccessible zone, into which even the governmental army cannot dare to penetrate.

Some rumours however circulate in our towns according to which all the victims are in bondage either in Virunga National Park (Mbau-Kamango axis), or on Rwenzori mountain around Kikingi – Kikura (in Watalinga area), or in the region between Kainama and Boga at the border between Nord-Kivu Province and the Oriental Province. But these are mere rumours which are not verified because of the inaccessibility of most of these areas.

The situation gives the impression that, in this part of North-Kivu province, small States have been constituted within the State. In fact, people often hear about a proliferation of military groups in the park without knowing their agendas. The victims are ordinary citizens who have no political or geopolitical ambition. The misery of the local population is that they are deprived from working in their farms, even in the nearest ones situated at some few kilometres from the main road, for fear of deportation. The Democratic Republic of Congo army remains passive, without any action that could build up the hope of the people. Is this a sign of incapacity or complicity? No one but God alone knows the truth.

Meanwhile, bands of crooks have been organised to make money on the heads of the kidnapped. Some people pretend to be mediators capable of contributing to the liberation of the captives. In fear of being betrayed, these crooks threaten their interlocutors of deportation or murder in case the secret is disclosed. This crooks behaviour constitutes a real plague that creates fear and trauma and has left families of the kidnapped poorer than before. It is in this context that the Church and all the population of this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo are living.

In this distress, the Assumptionist Fathers request the contribution of everyone for the liberation of their Confreres Edmond, Jean-Pierre, and Anselme, and of all the persons in bondage. This pathetic call is mainly addressed to the Congolese government, army of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to UN mission for the stability of Congo (MONUSCO) and, of course, to any person capable of rendering this big service to our people.

The Assumptionist Fathers ask the kidnappers to consider the tears of a so large number of people, their brothers and sisters, pleading before them for peace. Bring back to us our priests, parents, brothers and sisters, children... Listen to the interior voice of your conscience and follow it for it reminds you of the universal brotherhood due to the humanity that all men and women share. Please listen to our plea for the liberation of all the kidnapped of the North-Kivu province.

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