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Missionaries voice concerns after ceasefire

 The head of the Comboni missionaries has expressed his extreme concern over the military situation in Kisangani, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a statement, Fr Venanzio Milani, Vicar General of the order says: "Despite the adherence to the ceasefire for the last six days or so, the population of the Congolese city continues living in fear of a resumption of hostilities between the Rwandan and Ugandan military forces." If the fighting starts again, the consequences could be catastrophic, he warned. Calling on the EU and the UN to guarantee the security of Kisangani he said: "The words of the Security Council in regard to the withdrawal of the two foreign troops must not go unheard. It seems about time that the interest for human life takes the upper hand on that for diamonds." Last Sunday, Pope John Paul II said: "The heart of Africa is once again bleeding. The people of Kisangani were taken hostage by the violence of the battling armed populations. I appeal to the sense of responsibility and sensibility of the political and military authorities and pray the Lord to help them hear the voice of their conscience."