1. First Attacks in Nampula Province

 

The insurgency has now reached Nampula Province. The evening of Friday 2 September the insurgents attacked Namapa, in the District of Erati, Nampula Province. It is on the main road connecting Nampula with Pemba. Widespread destruction was caused.

At 21h00 on Tuesday 6 September they attacked Chipene, also in Nampula Province. The Church, hospital and Convent were burned down. An 83 year old Italian Nun was killed.

 

 

Terrorist attack on Comboni mission, Italian nun killed (avvenire.it) reports as follows:

 

“I am sorry to have to inform you that last night, around 9 pm, our Community of Chipene, in Mozambique, was attacked”. These are the first words of a communication from the general secretariat of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, signed by Sister Enza Carini, secretary general.

The news about what happened followed one another with some uncertainty, and unfortunately after a few hours came the confirmation that an Italian nun, Maria De Coppi, 83, was killed in the attack. In the mission lived four religious, two other fidei donum missionaries, from the diocese of Pordenone, were a community not far away. In the night they had sent moving messages, which left fear of the worst. “Remember me in prayers” and “I have forgiven those who will eventually kill me.” “I will try to protect you from there,” one of the two priests wrote in a chat. In the morning, however, it was possible to get in touch with Don Lorenzo Barro and Don Loris Vignandel, who fortunately escaped the attack. The two fled and were rescued by the Bishop of Nacala, confirms the Missionary Center of Concordia-Pordenone.

The nun who was killed was 83 years old, was originally from Santa Lucia di Piave and had been working in Mozambique since 1963. Born in Vittorio Veneto in 1939, she made her religious profession in 1960 in Verona. He had always worked in Mozambique.

The Missionary Center of Concordia-Pordenone reported that “the rebels assaulted the mission, setting fire to all the parish works”. The concern of the surviving religious is now for the local population and especially for Christians. The statement of the Comboni Missionaries continues: “The news concerning the sisters present there are uncertain and during the night it was not possible to reach the place to have more precise. The only sister with whom we had contact is Sister Eleonora Reboldi, who escaped to the forest with some girls… We are worried about Sister Angeles López Hernández and Sister Mara De Coppi because we are not sure how they are.” “Meanwhile, we all unite in prayer for our sisters, for our Comboni confreres and for all the people” in Mozambique.

In a recent interview, Fr Lorenzo Barro spoke of the mission of Chipene: a parish of 3 thousand square kilometers, without paved roads. A population plagued by hunger, ignorance, war and floods, with an average life expectancy of 40 years. The parish hosts displaced people fleeing clashes between the Rwandan army and military on the one hand and armed groups fighting against the government on the other.

In the mission live about eighty boys and girls who have been rescued. The bishop of the diocese of Nacala, Alberto Vieira, is on his way to Chipene. Sister Maria De Coppi had denounced the war, exploitation and terrorism in Mozambique and the suffering of the people, and was on the front line to help the families of the territory tried by hunger and violence.

Below is the interview that Sister Maria De Coppi had given to a local broadcaster recounting her work in Mozambique. “The last two years have been very hard. In the north of the country there is a war going on for gas fields and people are suffering and fleeing: in my parish there are 400 families coming from the war zone. Then came the cyclone. Finally, last year the drought lasted for a long time. Today in Nampula there is extreme poverty”. This is how Sister Maria De Coppi recounted the situation in the African country. “Despite material poverty, listening to the other remains a great gift, it is recognized as his dignity”. The population of the Nampula area “is quite fatalistic, waiting for the war and calamities to pass. They say, ‘Our war is not to wage war.’

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