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Cablegate: Vatican Names Ituri Bishop As Administrator of Kisangani

VZCZCXRO7160
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0112 0321205
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011205Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7459
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000112

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI PGOV CG UG
SUBJECT: Vatican names Ituri bishop as administrator of Kisangani
archdiocese

Ref: 07 Kinshasa 1351

1. Recently-appointed Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo of Kinshasa
(reftel) informed clergy prior to departing his former archdiocese
of Kisangani that the Vatican had appointed Bishop Marcel Utembi
Tapa as diocesan administrator until Pope Benedict XVI appoints a
new archbishop, Monuc's Radio Okapi reported January 29. Utembi,
43, is Bishop of Mahagi-Nioka in Orientale Province's war-torn Ituri
District, where he is has gained a reputation for courage in working
to resolve tribal conflicts.

2. Utembi has played a prominent role in peace initiatives aimed at
supporting development of sustainable solutions by Ituri's
population. He has summoned military commanders for dialogue and
played host to major national figures and as well as foreign
diplomats. He has been actively engaged in these initiatives with
other Congolese bishops in Ituri, as well as Ugandan bishops of
neighboring dioceses of Arua, Nebbi, Ohima and Kasese in advocacy
for peace.

3. Comment: It is too early to predict Utembi's chances of being
named archbishop in Kisangani; his appointment as administrator
dates to January 6. Kisangani is Congo's second most-important
diocese after Kinshasa, and Utembi is relatively young. Although
tribalism is not so profound a problem in Kisangani as elsewhere,
his conflict resolution background may serve him well in the new
post. End comment.

GARVELINK

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