Priest murdered in Bangui

According to a news report from Agenzia Fides [the news agency of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, responsible for the missionary work of the Church] the murderers of a priest at Our Lady of Fatima parish church in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, spoke neither French nor the locale Sango. According to the Archbishop of Bangui, Most Rev Dieudonné Nzapalainga, “The attackers shouted in English ‘open the door’”.

On 28 May men armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades attacked the parish where a number of persons had sought shelter from violence. The attack left 18 people dead including a Catholic priest, 76 years-old Fr Paul-Emile Nzale. According to Fides sources at least 42 people were taken hostage and the bodies were later found. However Archbishop Nzapalainga cannot confirm the news. “Some survivors whom I met told me people were taken away, but on their whereabouts voices are contradictory: some say they were killed others affirm they are still alive” the Archbishop said.

The attack has increased tension in the capital. “The city is totally paralyzed. Demonstrators calling for the temporary government to resign were dispersed by the army. Tension is high and no one knows what is going to happen” concludes the Archbishop.

According to Fides sources, the attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish was carried out by foreign jihadists who now have complete control over Muslims living in the Km 5 district of Bangui. “Although the authorities pretend not to notice, many Central Africans know that jihadists terrorists from Sudan and Nigeria have infiltrated into the Seleka and are now in the Km 5 district. Likening the anti balaka to Christians, the western media offered these criminals a perfect means of propaganda” our sources conclude.

SMA Bishop Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia, Bishop of Bossangoa, had earlier told Fides Agency about the presence of foreign jihadists at km 5.

Seleka is the rebel coalition which took power in Bangui in March 2013, throwing the country into chaos. The anti balaka militiamen who chased the Seleka from the capital turned into criminal gangs now rampant in various parts of Central Africa.