Real Kidnapping Attempt Reported in Lubumbashi, DRC on Metropolitan Archbishop

DRC: in Lubumbashi, real kidnapping attempt or security exercise, on the person of the metropolitan archbishop?

Catholic Church in Lubumbashi Denounces Attempted Kidnapping of Metropolitan Archbishop

On Friday, February 24th, the Catholic Church in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, denounced an attempted kidnapping of their Metropolitan Archbishop, Fulgence Muteba. About ten armed men claiming to be from the Republican Guard tried to enter the archdiocese without a mission order and without giving a reason. They then proceeded to inspect the Saints-Pierre-et-Paul cathedral located right next to the archdiocese.

This surprise visit has caused deep concern among the Church and local civil society, as Archbishop Muteba is known for his outspokenness and was the one who facilitated the reconciliation between Joseph Kabila and Moïse Katumbi last May. According to Monsignor Emmanuel Mumba, vicar general in charge of social works, the men claimed that they were there to inspect the cathedral in preparation for a presidential visit. However, no such visit was planned and the Church has never experienced such a situation before.

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The Church is unsure as to what to call the incident, but all suspicion points to a potential kidnapping attempt. The men were heavily armed and did not act in a way that suggested they were there to pay respects. Their mission was certainly not ‘white’ and it was clear that they were not there to ‘kiss the bishop’s ring’.


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