He explains, “Some Western powers, as well as African powers, wish to use all these conflicts to foster chaos and divide the country, a bit like what happened at the time of independence with the secession of some provinces such as Katanga, Kasai, Kivu.”
According to the 62-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Uvira Diocese since December 2013, the widely condemned killing of the Italian diplomat “only confirms” the daily experiences of locals in the Central African nation.
“The assassination … only confirms what we have been saying for some time: total insecurity reigns here,” he says, and adds, “If it is possible to kill a diplomat of this rank in this manner, think about what can happen to ordinary villagers.”
Within the country’s Diocese of Butembo-Beni, the Prelate who previously served as Auxiliary Bishop of DRC’s Kinshasa says members of the Clergy and Religious have often been kidnapped while others have been killed.
“There are also attacks against churches and convents in order to steal vehicles, motorcycles, food, money,” Bishop Mulombe says, adding that the Church’s position in the ongoing suffering in DRC has been to call for reconciliation and peace.
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He says that in South Kivu, the Catholic Church takes the opportunity of important occasions on the pastoral calendar to create awareness on the importance of peace in the country.
“Sometimes we meet with armed groups and we try to open a channel of dialogue. We often organize fundraising, clothes, medicines and livelihoods to help displaced populations, but the problem is also the poverty of our faithful. We do our best in the formation of consciences, in charity, in prayer,” Bishop Mulombe says.
Meanwhile, the Congolese Bishop has mourned the late Italian Ambassador, describing him as a friend he had met and remained close to.
“He loved the Congo and the Congolese very much. He was in North Kivu on a humanitarian mission. He was a man of peace and great friendship. May his soul rest in peace,” Bishop Mulombe says in his report to Agenzia Fides, the information service of the Vatican's Propaganda Fide.