Pastor Among 55 Killed In Congo


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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

(Worthy News) – Christians in eastern Congo are among those in shock after Islamist militants killed 55 people, including an Anglican pastor, several sources confirmed.

The Christian pastor was killed when Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist armed group, raided the village of Tchabi and a camp for displaced people near Boga, another town, witnesses and aid workers said.

The overnight attack reported on May 31 was reportedly the worst night of violence the area has seen in at least four years, according to residents.

Albert Basegu, the head of a civil rights group in Boga, said he had been alerted to the attack by the sound of cries at a neighbor’s house. “When I got there, I found that the attackers had already killed an Anglican pastor and his daughter was also seriously wounded,” Basegu told Reuters news agency.

The killing was also confirmed by aid group Barnabas Fund in a separate statement to . The name of the pastor has not been released amid mounting concerns about the situation in the region.

It was believed that many more Christians were among the dead. “According to Barnabas Fund sources, the Islamists were targeting the Christian-majority Banyali Tchabi ethnic group known as the Nyali,” the group told Worthy News.

MORE ATTACKS

“Nyali people are regularly attacked by ADF and others because their lands are rich with deposits.” Christian leaders have reportedly warned of ADF’s strategy to “kidnap and force victims to join the Islamic ” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), which mapped unrest in restive eastern Congo since June 2017, said the local chief’s wife was among the dead. It did not attribute blame for the killings.

“It’s the deadliest day ever recorded by the KST,” said Pierre Boisselet, the research group’s coordinator.

Both attacked villages are close to the border of . Houses were burned and civilians abducted, the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs said in a statement

The ADF is believed to have killed more than 850 people in 2020, according to the . Christians are among those killed or injured in the reprisal attacks on civilians after the army began operations against it the year before.

In March, the labeled the ADF a foreign organization. The group has in the past proclaimed allegiance to . However, the United Nations says evidence linking it to other Islamist militant networks is scant.

PRESIDENT PRESSURED

The violence came despite President Felix Tshisekedi declaring a state of siege in Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces on May 1 to curb increasing attacks by militant groups.

Uganda said last month it would share intelligence and coordinate operations against the rebels with its neighbor.

But the Ugandan government stressed it would not be deploying troops in Congo.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the latest Islamic attacks in the troubled African nation.

Through his spokesman, he urged “the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and bring those responsible to justice.”

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