An Italian Comboni missionary and a Congolese diocesan priest have been kidnapped by rebels, the Missionary News Service reported on Saturday. Fr Franco Laudani and his colleague were abducted near Mombasa, (500km east of Kisangani, Ituri province) in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an area which has seen violent fighting recently. Initially rebels from the MLC (Liberation Movement of Congo) were thought to be holding the priests. In the past few days violent fighting in the area has caused more than 130,000 people to flee their homes. On 30 December the rebels signed an accord, pledging to partly withdraw from the area in order to allow UN observers to assess the humanitarian situation. On Saturday, MISNA reported that a UN official had been in telephone conversation with Roger Lumbala, leader of the rebels of the RCD-National, and he had said he was holding the two priests as his 'guests'.
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