Islamic extremists raided the village of Masambo in the northeastern province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on April 3, the Barnabas Fund reported Thursday.
The raid by jihadists from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group allied to the Islamic State, is just one episode in a flood of Islamist violence across North Kivu and its neighboring province of Ituri, Barnabas noted in an email Tuesday.
“It is a miracle 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 victims’ cries that we realized it was a rebel raid.”
Saanane said that 21 dead 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 multiple villages during March 2022, killing more than 50 people in Ituri and at least another 30 in North Kivu.
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, birthplace of the ADF, declared that the jihadists are “mercilessly 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 soldiers to aid Congo’s army in their fight against ADF rebels in the region.
The Barnabas Fund, a charity that assists persecuted Christians, requested prayers for Christians in northeastern DRC, “asking for the Lord’s hand of protection over them.”
“Pray that Islamist extremism and other forms of violence in this troubled region will be brought to an end. Pray also for churches in western Uganda as they seek to help thousands of refugees who have fled across the border,” the group asked.