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Congo killings raise fears of genocide

Following an assault on a Catholic parish in the Democratic Republic of Congo that killed 48, the Vatican's Fides news service is reporting resident's fear of continuing massacres.

The Holy Father sent a telegram of condolence of Bishop of Bunia, the diocese in which the killings took place. The Pope's message said that he had been "stunned by the tragic events that caused the death of Fathers Francis Xaiver Cateso and Aime Ndjabu in the parish of Nyakasanza."

The Pope promised his prayers for the victims and their families, and asked all of the faithful to work for peace.

According to a Vatican Radio account, most of the victims of the attack in Nyakasanza were taking refuge inside the parish church to escape fighting in the town. The Vatican Radio report added that the assailants seemed clearly to be under the influence of drugs.

L'Osservatore Romano condemned the "pity and horror" of the attack.

"At the very moment when the Democratic Republic of Congo strives to restore national unity, war is intensified" Fr Francesco, Xaverian mission in Congo, told the Fides news service.

Catholic World News

UN urges more troops for DR Congo (BBC)
Congo: Salesians and Jesuits Draw Attention On A Forgotten War (Vidimus Dominum)
Jesuit Refugee Service | War and Human Rights Violations in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (22/4/03)

14 May 2003