Muslim Hate in the Congo

Dozens killed as Islamist violence erupts again in eastern DRC

November 3, 2017
By World Watch Monitor

After a period of relative calm, violence has resumed in eastern DRC. Various attacks by armed groups, including the radical Islamic group Muslim Defense International (MDI), formerly known as the Allied Democratic Forces, have claimed dozens lives among civilians in September and October.

In one recent attack on 26 October, suspected MDI militants stormed the Masiani neighbourhood of Beni. Local sources say the militants were hiding in the neighbourhood, waiting for nightfall to attack the local population, but that a soldier discovered them and immediately alerted security forces. The rebels then immediately burst into action and attacked the city. Clashes with the military led to at least six deaths (one soldier, five civilians).

A foreign missionary in the area described a chaotic situation, which caused fear among residents: “When we arrived we could not get into our neighbourhood. It was a real battlefield. Bombs, gunfire and people running. Large calibre shells are everywhere. A thousand or so people fled the area towards Beni,” he said.

In the early hours of Friday 27 October, unidentified gunmen also attacked the Nyankunde Evangelical hospital in Beni, situated on the Beni-Butembo road. Local sources say the attackers woke up the director of the hospital at about 1am, and forced him to lie down on the floor. They told him to give them all the money he kept with him.

Other medical personnel were also ordered to lie on the floor. The assailants looted money, some medicine and about 40 mobile phones belonging to the patients, carers and nurses.

They also beat up some of the nurses and patients at the hospital and left just before security forces arrived.

Earlier in October dozens were killed, including two UN peacekeepers, following raids attributed to MDI militants and clashes with the army backed up by UN troops. Some 11 civilians were killed when a convoy was ambushed between Kamango and Beni on the evening of Saturday 7 October. Most of the victims had their throats slit with machetes. More than 20 others were kidnapped, and their decomposed bodies were found a week later and buried on 15 October.

Violence in the volatile province of North Kivu claimed more than 1,000 lives between October 2014 and May 2016, according to local NGOs.

The Congolese government has always attributed responsibility for such attacks to MDI militants. But a recent report by the Congo Research Group, an independent group linked with New York University, cast doubt on that assessment.

The report – the result of over two years of research and 245 interviews, including many with perpetrators – claims to uncover “a more complex” and “more disturbing” reality.

The report, ‘Mass Killings in Beni Territory: Political Violence, Cover Ups, and Cooptation’, attributes some of the blame to the Congolese army, specifically naming one commanding officer, General Muhindo Akili Mundos.

The recent upsurge of violence coincides with social unrest as protesters demand the departure of President Joseph Kabila, whose constitutional mandate expired in December 2016. On Monday (30 October), some activists, members of LUCHA (Lutte pour le changement /Struggle for change), marched in the streets of Goma, the North Kivu provincial capital, chanting, in French, “Joseph Kabila must go because his mandate has ended”. At least five people were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, although some sources report as many as 30 deaths.

DRC has been in political turmoil since December 2016, when President Kabila’s second and last mandate expired without fresh elections.

The San Silvestro Agreement, mediated by Catholic Bishops, on 31 December provided for the establishment of a national unity government aimed at leading the country to new elections by 2017. But analysts now say it is impossible to meet the deadline as the national elections body, the CENI (Commission Electorale Nationale Independante), said elections can only be held 504 days after the end of voter registration.

Some have accused the government of masterminding the violence in the east of the country and the central province of Kasai, with the aim of creating a climate of instability which will serve as a pretext for President Kabila to stay in power.

Islamist Extremists Attack Churches, Terrorise Nuns In Bid To Sabotage Church's Peace Mission In The Congo

Hazel Torres
24 February 2017

Christian Today

Islamist extremism is bringing death and destruction not only in the Middle East but in other parts of the world as well.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, in Central Africa, Islamist extremists have been targeting churches in what a top Roman Catholic official believes is a deliberate effort to "sabotage the church's mission of peace and reconciliation" in the country and bring it back from the brink of war.

Roman Catholic Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that churches in the DRC are being desecrated and Christian nuns terrorised by "violent thugs" amid a wave of increased hostility on Christians.

Last week, the extremists burned the Malole major seminary and "sown terror among the Carmelite Sisters" in nearby Kananga, Pasinya said.

The extremists also attacked the St. Dominic church in the town of Limete. They "overturned the tabernacle, ransacked the altar, smashed some of the benches and attempted to set fire to the church," the archbishop said.

Late last year, at least 38 people were killed when the Islamist militant group Allied Democratic Force (ADF) attacked the DRC town of Beni, according to Open Doors USA.

The ADF has reportedly killed more than 700 people in various attacks since 2014. Christians believe the Islamist extremists want to uproot and drive them out of the Congo so that the extremists can take control of the East Africa Lakes area.

In August last year, Pope Francis denounced the Christian persecution in the Congo after at least 36 Christians were hacked to death by the jihadist group in the North Kivu region.

"My thoughts go to the people of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who have been recently hit with fresh massacres, which have for some time been perpetrated in shameful silence, without attracting even as much as our attention," Francis was quoted by the Radio Vaticana as saying.

"Unfortunately, they are part of the too many innocent people who have no weight on world opinion," the pope lamented.

Christians killed, as thousands flee continuing Islamist violence

May 6, 2016
World Watch Monitor

Islamist militants are suspected to have killed between 20 and 40 villagers in the eastern extremes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to news reports and a World Watch Monitor source.

Attackers carried machetes and axes into a village in North Kivu province, in eastern DRC, late in the evening on 3 May.

“Between 20:00 and 22:00, the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes, slashing their throats,” local administrator Bernard Amisi Kalonda told Agence France-Presse. “The 16 bodies are in front of me, killed by machete or axe.”

One local source later told World Watch Monitor on 6 May that as many as 34 may have died; another source quoted 38, including, he said, two elders and their wives of the CECA 20 (Communaute Evangelique au Centre de l’Afrique) Church.

A local Christian missionary told World Watch Monitor on 4 May that thousands of people have fled the area.

“It was eerie; hundreds of houses abandoned and thousands of people displaced,” the missionary said. “I saw four coffins and a funeral or two on the road. I saw people carrying their mattresses and things in cars, on motorcycles, on foot.

“Hundreds of homes along the road are abandoned. Where there was thriving community, there is now a ghost town.”

World Watch Monitor is withholding the missionary’s name for security reasons.

Gen. Jean Baillaud, the military chief of the UN’s 20,000-soldier force in the DR Congo, confirmed at least 17 people had been killed.

Local administrator Kalonda told AFP it is unknown if the attack was carried out by Muslim Defense International, formerly known as the Alliance of Democratic Forces. The 20-year-old alliance of Ugandan militants was first linked with former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. It has long been active in the eastern regions of neighbouring DR Congo, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians since 2014, according to the UN.

The MDI has repeatedly attacked the majority-Christian population in eastern DRC for years. Kidnapping and murder are common. It is alleged to have support from the Islamic government of Sudan, an assertion made by the Uganda government and backed by Western diplomatic sources. The group is accused of waging a proxy war for Sudan against Uganda as retribution for Uganda’s support of secessionists who broke away to form the nation of South Sudan in 2011.

The MDI is known to have attracted foreign recruits and to have forced Christians to convert to Islam.

The local population in the related area is overwhelmingly Christian (95.8%) and the impact on them has been immense. After this latest attack, World Watch Monitor heard from a pastor in the area who said the people are terrified but that while some contemplated fleeing again, others have opted to stay in the hope that things will normalise soon.

In a letter released a year ago, the Bishops of the Province of Bukavu (eastern DRC) denounced a “climate of genocide” and the passivity of the Congolese State and international community.

“Does the situation have to deteriorate even more before the international community takes measures against jihadism?” asked the Bishops in May 2015, according to whom “a strategy of forced displacement of populations is taking place in order to gradually occupy the land and install outbreaks of religious fundamentalism and terrorist training bases”, the Catholic news agency Fides reported.