Caritas Worker Slain in Congo

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MUSEZERO, Congo, JULY 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Caritas aid agency reported that a staff member from their French division was killed in Congo last week, and called for an end to the "growing climate of insecurity" in the African nation.



Ricky Agusa Sukaka, 27, was shot dead in Musezero, North Kivu, on July 15. When his colleagues found him, his pockets had been emptied and his Secours Catholique-Caritas France T-shirt removed. He was last seen alive being stopped by two men in army uniforms.

Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, said, "Ricky Sukaka bravely worked in a war zone to help others rebuild their lives. The brutality and killing in Congo has got to stop. Caritas calls on all the groups involved to sit down at the negotiating table and work for a lasting peace.”

The Congolese army and rebel groups continue to inflict violence on North and South Kivu, where one million people are already displaced. Armed groups wander at will, killing, raping and looting the defenseless population.

Caritas member organizations in France and Congo contacted the army, the U.N. force in Congo and the U.N. humanitarian affairs office following Sukaka’s death. The group affirmed it will follow investigations into his slaying to "ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice."

Sukaka, a Congolese national, had worked as an agricultural engineer with Caritas France for just over a year.