Major Seminary in DR Congo’s Butembo-Beni Diocese Looted in Nighttime Robbery

St. Octavian Major Seminary Vulindi, an Inter-diocesan house of formation in Butembo-Beni Diocese. Credit: RMBB

St. Octavian Major Seminary Vulindi, an Inter-diocesan house of formation in Butembo-Beni Diocese in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was looted in a nighttime robbery, the Rector of the Seminary has confirmed.

Speaking at a Press Conference Wednesday, March 22, Fr. Jean Berkchmas Mukwemulere said that the robbery took place during the March 21-22 night by armed men alleged to be members of the Mai Mai rebels.

“At 8.30pm, as we were heading towards the chapel, we saw men dressed as soldiers with weapons in their hands,” Fr. Mukwemulere recounted.

The Rector of the Congolese Major Seminary added in reference to the armed men, “Some were already threatening the Seminarians to show them the room of the person in charge, demanding money.”

The armed men spotted a Priest, and having gained access to his room, they made away with “his phone and some money,” Fr. Mukwemulere told journalists, adding that the robbers who he said “were mainly young people” also made away with “computers (and) at least 15 telephones from Seminarians.”


The Rector of the Seminary continued, “We tried to reach the military and police who intervened twenty or thirty minutes later.”

“We regret that this happened in a formation house. These computers are for studies and we have no other wish than to give ourselves peace,” he added. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, March 22, the Local Ordinary of Butembo-Beni Diocese expresses gratitude to the military for their timely intervention.

“In the name of the Bishops, members of the Provincial Episcopal Assembly of Bukavu, (ASSEPB), on which this inter-diocesan Major Seminary depends, I give infinite thanks to the Lord God since all the residents of the house have been saved, although there were some injured," Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku says in the statement.

Bishop Sikuli lauds the prompt intervention of the council, represented by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the elements of the Congolese National Police (PNC), who he says defeated the enemy.

More in Africa

“The same gratitude goes to the neighbors of Saint Octavian Major Seminary for their appropriate action, as well as to all those who contributed, from near or far, to avoid the worst," Bishop Sikuli says.

He condemned the attack on the Major Seminary, saying, “It is proof of growing insecurity.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.