Congo Mourns Over 100 Killed In Landslides
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KINSHASA (Worthy News) – The Democratic Republic of Congo plunged into mourning Wednesday after more than 100 people died in the capital Kinshasa as heavy rains unleashed floods and caused landslides.
Entire neighborhoods were flooded with muddy water, and houses and roads were ripped apart by sinkholes, including the N1 highway that connects Kinshasa to the country’s main seaport of Matadi, the government said.
President Félix Tshisekedi, in Washington attending the U.S.-Africa Summit, declared three days of national mourning. He said he would cut short his trip to the United States and leave after meeting with President Biden on Thursday.
In a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the summit, Tshisekedi blamed the heavy rains and infrastructure damage on “climate change.”
“The [Democratic Republic of Congo] DRC is under pressure, but unfortunately, it’s not sufficiently heard or supported,” he said.
“Support must come from countries that pollute and unfortunately trigger the harmful consequences in our countries that lack the means to protect themselves.”
Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani Mbanda said his ministry had counted 141 dead but that the number needed to be cross-checked with other departments. Other reports spoke about at least 120 victims.
Images posted on social media showed a significant road that appeared to have subsided into a deep chasm, with crowds staring at the damage.
The country’s capital, Kinshasa, is home to more than 15 million people and one of Africa’s few full-blown megacities.
Exists that rapid urbanization has increased the vulnerability of the city and its outskirts to flash floods.
The tragedy also added pressure on Christians already facing hardships, including reported persecution by Islamic militants.
“Although a very high percentage of the population are Christians, the Islamic extremist group Alliance for Democratic Forces (ADF) is responsible for the persecution of Christians,” says the advocacy group Open Doors.
Attacks occur especially in the east of the country, with extremists “brutally attacking Christians and churches,” the group added in a recent assessment.
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