Gunmen have killed another Catholic priest in DRC’s eastern province of North Kivu.
Fr. Etienne Sengiyumva, 38, was killed on 8 April.
“An assailant entered the house where he was having dinner, aimed his gun at the priest and killed him,” said Fr Emmanuel Kapitual, a curate in the parish where Fr. Sengiyumva was shot.
According to La Croix International, Fr. Sengiyumva was killed by Mai-Mai Nyatura militia, a group created to protect ethnic Hutus who settled in North Kivu from neighbouring Rwanda. However, the Catholic Bishop of Goma, Theophile Kaboy Ruboneka, said in a statement reported by Agenzia Fides that “it is difficult to say who was responsible for this terrible act”. “At least 15” armed groups are operating in the area, he said.
“Fr. Sengiyumva is the third priest killed in the area,” the bishop said, and described North Kivu as being “in total chaos”.
“We are completely abandoned by everyone,” he said.
Until late 2017, eastern DRC had enjoyed a period of relative calm before violence resumed with the killing of dozens of civilians by armed groups including the radical Islamic group Muslim Defense International.
The Kivu security tracker, developed by the Congo Research Group at the University of New York, recorded 215 killings, 334 abductions and 75 kidnappings in North and South Kivu between 1 January and 31 March this year.