Machete Wielding Islamist Militants Attack Man, Burn Houses in Increasing Unrest in the Congo

A man was attacked by Islamist militants with a machete and left for dead in the North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Men gesture during a protest against French soldiers in Bambari May 22, 2014.


A man was attacked by Islamist militants with a machete and left for dead in the North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A report from World Watch Monitor said that Jean (not his real name) was walking home one early evening when he ran into a group of militants carrying weapons.

“It was around 6pm. There were many of them. Some had guns, others machetes,” he said.

The militants pushed him into the bushes and two of them hacked him with their machetes. Jean didn’t move while his attackers looked at his bleeding body. Thinking he was dead, they left him and burned a nearby house.

When he was sure that they had gone, Jean forced himself up and walked to the nearest clinic, but it was closed. Fortunately, he was spotted by the military and was able to get the help he needed.

A person working with World Watch Monitor went to Jean’s neighborhood the day after he was attacked and found “signs of unrest.”

“Although the army had cleared the roads, the signs of unrest were visible in the form of burnt-out tyres, rocks, concrete blocks and other debris lying next to the road,” the person said.

“When we arrived at the hotel, we noticed a steady stream of tired and traumatised people making their way out of town. We asked one lady where she was going and she replied, ‘I don’t know, but I want to get as far as possible away from this place,’” the person added.

The violence has affected not only the residents but also those who are doing ministry in the area. A church leader told World Watch Monitor that she will not flee even though gunshots could be heard day and night and have become part of the residents’ lives.

The World Watch Monitor said Jean’s case is among the increasing number of attacks against Christians in North Kivu. The area is experiencing more unrest as militants from the Allied Democratic Forces loot houses, kill Christians, kidnap people and rape women almost every week.

In May, the ADF Islamist militants also attacked a community in North Kivu, killing 20 to 40 villagers.

"Between 8 pm and 10 pm (1900 GMT and 2100 GMT), the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes, slashing their throats," local administrator Bernard Amisi Kalonda told AFP.

In August, the Islamist militants tied up and hacked to death 36 Christians in the same province. Some reports say the number of casualties could reach up to 50, according to Catholic Herald.

Pope Francis condemned the violent attacks, saying such things have been tolerated in “shameful silence.”

“My thoughts go to the people of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of 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,” the Pope said regarding the August attack, according to Catholic Herald. “Unfortunately, they are part of the too many innocent people who have no weight on world opinion.”

Tags : Congo persecution, Congo, Allied Democratic Forces, Congo Islamist militants, Congo Islamist militants attack, World Watch Monitor, Pope Francis, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Islamist militant attacks, Congo Christians, Congo church