An archbishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been allowed to return to his diocese in the rebel-held city of Bukavu, after being barred for seven months by the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD).
    Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko arrived in Bukavu on Thursday after a plane was sent to bring him from the north-eastern city of Butembo, where he had spent the past few months in exile.
    His return marks the end of a long battle between the Rwandan-backed rebels in eastern Congo and the Catholic Church, which has been one of the most outspoken critics of the rebellion.
    An RCD spokesman said the movement had lifted the ban as part of its efforts to promote reconciliation in Congo, but warned the archbishop should be aware of his responsibilities as well as his rights.
    The banning order was imposed in February after rebel leaders accused Archbishop Kataliko of sending out political messages and inciting ethnic hatred.
    The Vatican strongly criticised the ban, while Catholics in eastern Congo launched a long campaign demanding the archbishop's return.
19 Sep 00

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