Gunmen Abduct 2 Catholic Priests

According to The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) says gunmen kidnapped two Catholic priests in an area at the center of over two years of massacres by unknown assailants.

The two priests, Charles Kipasa and Jean-Pierre Akilimali, were taken from Our Lady of the Angels parish in Bunyuka, located between the towns of Butembo and Beni, by a group of around 10 assailants just before 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Sunday.

“Priests are men of God who devote their lives to the good of the population without a political agenda. To hurt them is to harm the community they serve,” CENCO said in a statement.

CENCO called upon the security forces to do everything possible to free the men. Three other priests, abducted in the same area in October 2012, still have not been freed.

Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands, a tinderbox of ethnic tensions, has for more than two decades been the theater of successive wars and rebellions. Beni has been among the most volatile zones in the last two years.