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02/28/2022 DRC (International Christian Concern) – Four travelers were killed Thursday evening while driving in Karuruma, Eastern DRC, after their vehicle was barricaded by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists. Among the four civilians killed was Sylvia Kombi, a staff member of the Anglican Church of Congo, hailed for her service in providing trauma counseling to the terror-stricken region.

“She was coming from our diocese in Kasindi where she had gone to give counseling to Christian refugees living in Lubhiriha,” said local source Canon Muhasa. “We received reports that the rebels had stooped their vehicle in Karuruma, a village in Virunga Park, and they killed four of the travelers, while two escaped with serious wounds. They also set vehicles on fire.”

The South Rwenzori Diocese of Uganda eulogized Kombi as a “dedicated psychologist who offered immense trauma counseling to the persecuted believers in the diocese.” The head of the Missions arm of the diocese said,

“She would spend days with the Muslim background believers here to pray and guide them on how to face persecution and become bold servants of the Lord. She was a humble and loving sister who put the gospel needs of the church first, and she never hesitated whenever we needed her to come from DR Congo to train our evangelists.”

Transport between the border town of Kasindi and Butembo has been halted due to the various attacks on villages and hospitals that lie next to the vast Virunga Forest, where the ADF insurgents are believed to have several hideout camps. Local transporters are pleading with security agents to employ a convoy system where vehicles are given a police escort while traveling.

“We ask the government to resume escorting all vehicles from Kasindi to Butembo the same way they do along the Kasindi Beni road,” urged a driver in Kasindi. “This would ensure that all our drivers and passengers are safe and goods would move easily from the border to the town of Butembo. We have not been able to do business since Thursday, and the people of Butembo need goods. We would appreciate it if the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) were deployed to guard vehicles on this risky road.”

The security situation in Beni and Ituri continues to worsen regardless of the presence of Ugandan troops, who crossed into the war-torn DR Congo to battle the ADF in December 2021.

The ADF terror group originated in Western Uganda and has since moved most of its operations across the border into DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces. An affiliate of ISIS, the group regularly attacks the Christian-dominated country, frequently killing, kidnapping, and displacing Christians.

Please pray for the end of the ADF terrorist group and for the Lord to soften the hearts of militants, who are often children forced to partake in heinous acts of violence. Please also pray for those who have been victims of terrorism, for the Lord to heal them and strengthen the church amidst persecution.

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