News has just come through of the killing of a priest and a nun, in the Archdiocese of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: Fr Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga and Sister Denise Kahambo Murahirwa.
Fr Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, was killed in the parish in Kabare on Sunday, 6 December at two o’clock in the morning. According to a statement from the Archbishop, unknown men attacked the parish house during the night leading up to 6 December.
Having ripped the bars off of a window, they entered the house. Fr Daniel tried to take refuge in his room, but was found by the criminals and killed in cold blood. The statement of the Archdiocese doubts that the killing of Fr Daniel is the result of chance, suggesting that it is a deliberate strategy to attack the Church. On the evening of 7 November, Sister Denise Kahambo Murahirwa was killed by armed men in uniform who attacked the monastery of Our Lady of Light in Muresha, located 20 kilometres from the town of Bukavu, in the territory of Kabare.
The monastery is situated in an isolated area and it is difficult to learn new details. The killing of Fr Daniel has aroused strong emotions in Bukavu, where in recent months the violence has affected men and women of the Church, as well as journalists and human rights activists. In protest, the schools have been shut down.
In October, the gravity of the situation in Bukavu forced Archbishop Francois Xavier Maroy Rusengo, Archbishop of Bukavu (capital of the Congolese province) to leave the work of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops and return to his Archdiocese.