Date of Death
April 8, 1998
Sr. Anne Desrumeaux was killed the evening of April 8, 1998 by a group of about 20 armed men in uniform who forced their way into the convent of Sainte-Thérèse in Nganza in the diocese of Kananga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Belgian nun of the Sisters of Charity of Heule had thwarted an attack on the previous Sunday, which was Palm Sunday. Desrumeaux, who had ministered as a nurse and missionary in the region for 30 years, had bargained with the assailants and given them some money. The men fled when a siren set off by the sisters alerted locals who came to support them.
But on Wednesday, Desrumeaux was met with two rounds of automatic gunfire when she confronted them to ask what they wanted. Neighbors and the driver of the convent rushed her to the hospital but she died enroute. At her funeral on April 10, a protest by the diocese was read publicly and delivered to the governor, and a complaint against the state was filed with the local prosecutor’s office. Desrumeaux’s refusal to allow local authorities to use a mission room at the convent, along with desires by a local tribe to take over the school, led to suspicion that the assassination was a “settlement of accounts” rather than a random crime.