1. It is with great sadness that we inform you that abbots Charles Kipasa and Jean-Pierre Akilimali, respectively parish priest and vicar of the parish of Marie Reine des Anges de Bunyuka, were abducted on Sunday around 9 pm by a group of » Men in uniform.
2. With these two priests, they took two vehicles and a motorcycle. They headed for the Graben.
3. This morning the two vehicles were found in the Graben but we are still unaware of the destination that the driver of the motorcycle would have taken with the two hostages despite the mobilization of the civilian population of Bunyuka, priests and religious authorities, Bashu chieftaincy authorities and the security services of Beni territory and the town of Butembo, who have deployed to Graben.
4. We strongly condemn this kidnapping of priests and ask that they be released immediately without delay so that they can fulfill their pastoral mission.
5. We ask all the faithful of the diocese and the men of good will to remain vigilant and to persevere in prayer for the peace and security of all in our Province of North Kivu.
Done in Butembo, 17 july 2017
Mgr Sikuli Paluku Melchisédech,
Bishop of Butembo-Beni.