10/03/2022 DRC (International Christian Concern) – On Saturday, October 1, militants belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an ISIS-affiliated extremist group operating in parts of Uganda and the Congo, killed 14 civilians in a surprise attack.
The bloodshed took place in the volatile eastern region of Ituri, in Kymata village. The attackers killed fourteen people with machetes, injured two more, and are suspected to have kidnapped two children. Following the murders, the militants set fire to the village, destroying the homes and livelihoods of its residents.
The DRC, along with Uganda, which frequently suffers from attacks due to ADF incursions across its border, launched a joint military initiative against ADF militants in November of 2021. However, their attempts to stamp out the violence seem to be unsuccessful, as the number of attacks has increased in recent months.
The ADF started in the 1990s as a force opposing the alleged mistreatment of Muslims by the Ugandan government. They later expanded their operation to the DRC, where they have now grown and spread in the provinces of Ituri and North- Kivu. It is the most violent of the over 120 armed groups currently active in the eastern DRC. ICC has previously reported on the brutal crimes the group has committed against Congolese civilians, including many Christians.
The DRC ranks at number 40 on the 2021 Open Doors World Watch List for Christian persecution. “These predominantly Christian communities are attacked by an Islamic extremist group with a clear Islamic expansionist agenda,” Open Doors spokesperson Illia Djadi stated in reference to the rebel group.