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Monday, 14 February, 2000, 05:27 GMT
DR Congo priests in protest



Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are facing fresh opposition from the Roman Catholic church after banning an archbishop from returning to his diocese.

Catholic priests in the rebel-held city of Bukavu are refusing to perform ecclesiastical duties until Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko is allowed to return to the city.

The archbishop has been a prominent critic of the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy and its Rwandan backers.

He used his Christmas message to warn against what he called the foreign occupation of Bukavu and the surrounding region of south Kivu.

Monsignor Kataliko's supporters say he has always advocated peaceful protests and is now being targeted because of the rebels' antipathy towards the church. A rebel spokesman accused Monsignor Kataliko of being a propagandist for the President, Laurent Kabila.

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