October 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1 CAR ATTACK PIC

Priest and deacon in Africa terrorised by Islamist rebels

A Sacred Heart Fathers’ mission station in the Central African Republic has been attacked by Islamist rebels.

Sources in the country told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that Italian missionary Fr Beniamino Gusmeroli (above) and locally born Deacon Martial Mengue were threatened on Friday by five armed men with Kalashnikovs, who tied up the clerics and gagged them with adhesive tape.

The armed men, who were believed to be Sudanese, ransacked the rooms of the mission station, in Bouar in the north of the country, taking money, cameras, computers and other items.

The rebels took Deacon Mengue as a hostage, but released him some hours later.

Noting the deterioration in the situation in the country, Fr Piero Trameri, mission procurator of the Sacred Heart Fathers, pleaded for the ‘speedy and determined intervention of the international community.’

Sources in the country said that mission stations and church-owned buildings are often targeted by the rebels.

Italian Carmelite priest, Fr Aurelio Gazzera, who works in Bozoum, said that he hopes that the international community will react to the latest attack.

“Central Africa is one of the subjects presently under discussion at the UN General Assembly,” he said. “We hope that it will bring concrete results, because the situation is continuing to deteriorate. As well as the fighting that took place in recent weeks in Bossangoa and drove 30,000 people to flight, last week the Séléka rebels killed two people and burned down 206 houses in the village of Herba, which lies 70 kilometres from the road to Bocaranga.”

Although the Séléka rebel alliance was officially disbanded on September 13 by President Djotodia, there are still about 25,000 Séléka rebels in the country.

In the past two weeks, clashes between Séléka and other armed groups in Ouham Pende Prefecture have resulted in more than 170,000 displaced people.

According to the United Nations, 400,000 of the Central African Republic’s population of 5 million have fled their homes.

By Eva-Maria Kolmann and John Newton

http://www.acnuk.org/

 

Leave a Reply

latest news

Loyalist graffiti painted on walls of Catholic school

November 26th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Police have launched an investigation after the letters ‘UVF’ were...


New composition by James MacMillan to premiere next week

November 26th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The piece will be performed as part of a concert...


Pope says door remains open to dialogue with the Islamic State

November 26th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Holy Father fielded questions on terrorism, slavery and abuse on...


Pope brings pro-life message to European Parliament

November 25th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Holy Father only second Pontiff to address the parliament...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-NOV-21,-2014

exclusively in the paper

  • Catholic Education Director Michael McGrath says he will defend those who conscientiously object to teaching about gay marriage.
  • Bishop John Keenan announces that Paisley Diocese will hold synod in 2016.
  • Scotland’s bishops get behind interfaith week.
  • Kevin McKenna on why he hopes Catholic leaders will attend Orange fest.
  • Peter Kearney on the CDF Colloquium at the Vatican on the theme The Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO