Assumptionist Priest Killed in Congo

Founder of a website documenting the ongoing violence in North Kivu Province, the Assumption priest Vincent Machozi was murdered on March 21, shortly after he posted an article denouncing the presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda because of recent massacres in the region. Father Machozi defended the Yira ethnic group (also known as Nande), who have been victims of the illegal exploitation of coltan in eastern Congo. “Soldiers arrived in a vehicle a little after midnight, broke down the door and shot him on sight,” said the Very Rev. Emmanuel Kahindo, vicar general of the Assumptionist congregation stationed in Rome. Father Kahindo said that in a conversation last October Father Machozi told him: “Pray for me because I will be murdered....” He led Kyaghanda Yira, an organization that defended the rights and the land of the Yira people. It is estimated that since 2010, some four million people have been systematically driven from their land, terrorized and massacred by armed groups in North Kivu.

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