At least a dozen people have been killed in an attack by Islamists on the village of Masambo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The attack, on Sunday 3 April, was carried out by the Islamist group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
A church leader in neighbouring Uganda confirmed that that the ADF are “mercilessly killing Christians”. He added that many people are fleeing north-eastern DRC and seeking refuge in western Uganda.
The village of Masambo is in the North Kivu province of north-eastern DRC.
These attacks are part of a spate of violence across North Kivu and its neighbouring province of Ituri, much of it carried out by Islamists.
In March 2022 more than 50 people in Ituri and at least 30 in North Kivu were killed in attacks by the ADF.
The two provinces were placed in a state of emergency (known as a “state of siege”) by DRC President Felix Tshisekedi in May 2021. This state has yet to be lifted.
In a video released on 1 April, ADF leader Musa Baluku renewed the group’s pledge of allegiance (baya) to Islamic State (IS – also known as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).
This followed the appointment of the Iraqi-born Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as the new leader of IS in March.
The ADF, also known as Islamic State Central Africa Province, was designated a terrorist organisation by the United States in March 2021. In April of that year Christian leaders in DRC warned of ADF’s strategy to “kidnap and force victims to join the Islamic faith”.
From Barnabas Fund contacts and other sources