Congolese Bishop Sends an SOS for Refugees

KINSHASA, Congo, DEC. 7, 2005 ( Bishop Fulgence Muteba of Kilwa-Kasenga has appealed for help on behalf of refugees fleeing from the center of the Katanga province, in southern Congo.

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In a message sent to relief organizations and charities including Aid to the Church in Need, the prelate stated today that heavy fighting had broken out between rival guerrilla forces in the region, prompting about 80,000 people to flee from their homes.

The refugees “are exhausted and suffering from several illnesses, including malaria and malnutrition,” said Bishop Muteba.

“Humanitarian aid is urgently needed, but it runs the risk of arriving too late,” the 43-year-old bishop said in his message. “The silence on the part of the government is worrisome. … It is hard to believe that mankind must suffer so many humiliations due to the barbaric behavior of certain people.”

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