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Islamic Militants Kill over 100 Anglicans in Democratic Republic of Congo

Islamic Militants Kill over 100 Anglicans in Democratic Republic of Congo

By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org
March 8, 2020

Over 100 Anglicans have been killed by militant Islamists of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the last four months, police and local authorities report.

The Allied Democratic Forces is a rebel group in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, considered a terrorist organization by the Ugandan government. It was originally based in western Uganda but has expanded into the neighboring DRC.

The killings which started in late October 2019 led to Anglicans in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo living in fear of attacks and killings by Islamist rebels. Hundreds have fled their homes over fears of being hacked to death.

Among the killed were two priests. The most affected are villages in eastern Democratic republic of Congo's Beni region, said police intelligence officer Luis Mboka in Kivu province.

Mboka said that areas in Beni region have seen a surge of violence since October 30th 2019 when the Congolese army started an offensive meant to flush out ADF rebels from the area.

''Since then the rebels have been attacking homes of Anglicans and asking them to either immediately abandon their religion and become Muslims or be hacked to death. Those who refused to abandon their religion have been killed by the rebels." said Mboka.

Over 1000 families had been forced to flee from their homes. The army has fought against the rebels defending Anglicans who still face being attacked, he said.

According to Kivu Security Tracker, a research initiative that maps unrest in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at least 265 people, mostly Christians were killed by ADF after the army launched an offensive against the rebels in October of last year.

In November 2019, Kivu Security Tracker said, ADF killed at least 84 people, including men, women and children. Over half of the victims were Anglicans. In February and March at least 20 Anglicans including a 9-year-old child were killed when the rebels attacked Kalawu village.

The governor of Beni, Donat Kibwana confirmed that the rebels had turned their wrath against Anglicans. During a press interview Kibwama said that the rebels carried out several attacks in which innocent Anglicans were killed. He said that one of the worst attacks took place on January 28, 2020 when 36 Anglicans were killed in a single attack.

Kibwama said the ADF rebels attacked four villages to the west of Beni territory. The main attacks took place in Manzingi, a village northwest of Oicha, and Eingei where a priest was killed.

One of the survivors, David Nsogora, 50, said, "When they attacked my home, I was in the latrine located about 20 meters from the house. When I heard them torturing people in my home, I hid in the bush behind the latrine. When they left after the mission, I went back to my house only to find that all nine members of my family had been killed."

The Rev. Samuel Kasonga of St. James Church said; ''Most people no longer sleep in their houses. To date they have killed two priests and many Anglicans since October last year when the army started operations against ADF rebels. We have appealed to our government and the international community to help us fight against the rebels.''

The Rev. Gilbert Kambale, who is also president of the Beni City Civil Society organization urged the international community to pray to God for deliverance for the DRC.

This is not the first time the rebels have killed Anglicans. In August 2016, ADF reportedly carried out what is known as the "Beni massacre," where at least 64 people, mostly Anglicans, were killed.

The ADF have caused much havoc in western Uganda including the burning of over 20 students in their dormitory.

In the early 1990s they were defeated by the Uganda government and relocated to jungles in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo with the intention of basing their operations there, and carrying out attacks on Uganda.

After reorganizing, and recruiting more members from local communities, they began attacking villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing innocent people and forcing them to become Muslims.

END

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