Islamists ‘ruthlessly kill Christians’ in Congo

Islamic extremists attacked the village of Masambo in North Kivu province in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on April 3, the Barnabas Fund reported Thursday.

The raid by jihadists from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group allied with the Islamic State, is just one episode in a deluge of Islamist violence across North Kivu and its neighboring province of Ituri, Barnabas noted in an email Tuesday.

“It’s a miracle that I survived,” said Masambo resident Kakule Saanane. “We were already in bed when we heard the sound of boots outside and bullets. It was after hearing the cries of the victims that we understood that it was a rebel raid.

Saanane said 21 bodies were found following the attack, which was carried out with machetes and guns; the figure has since risen to 28.

The ADF carried out a series of attacks in several villages in March 2022, killing more than 50 people in Ituri and at least 30 others in North Kivu.

Congolese Armed Forces soldiers are seen at their forward operating bases around Mwenda, a small town at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, on April 7, 2021 in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is close to Virunga National Park where a camp of ADF members lives and hides. This city has been attacked several times by the ADF, with many civilians killed and some beheaded. A number of people, including children, were abducted. As a result, the Congolese army has a number of forward operating bases scattered around the region. The ADF is an Islamic terrorist group based in eastern DR Congo which in recent years has developed a relationship with the Islamic State after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State leadership. They are known locally as ISIS in Congo. The ADF have killed more than 5,000 Congolese civilians in recent years, abducted and displaced thousands, and killed more than 2,500 Congolese army soldiers. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

In May 2021, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi declared the two provinces to be in a “state of siege”, a situation that continues to this day.

A church leader in neighboring Uganda, the birthplace of the ADF, said jihadists are “ruthlessly killing Christians” and many people are fleeing the DRC and seeking refuge in western Uganda. Africa News notes that in December Uganda sent more than 1,000 troops to assist the Congolese army in its fight against ADF rebels in the region.

The Barnabas Fund, a charity that helps persecuted Christians, has called for prayers for Christians in northeastern DRC, “asking for the Lord’s hand of protection upon them”.

“Pray for an end to Islamist extremism and other forms of violence in this troubled region. Also pray for the churches in western Uganda as they seek to help thousands of refugees who have crossed the border,” the group asked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.