Living a Nightmare: Kahindo’s Encounter with the ADF
06/28/2022 DRC (International Christian Concern) – On March 20 of this year, Kahindo, 25, and her two-year-old daughter Nuela were captured from their village by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamic extremist group operating in the Congo. Kahindo and her family are all Christians, as were the majority of people from her village.
Following the ADF raid, during which her husband, two children, two brothers and both of her parents were brutally murdered, Kahindo and her daughter were imprisoned by the militants at their camp in a nearby forest for over three weeks.
In an interview with an ICC staff member, Kahindo, who is now in a refugee camp in Congo, tells her painful story of losing her family members and encountering the ruthless jihadist group. She told ICC,
“They killed over 30 people in our small village in Luna. They said that they wanted to kill all unbelievers because they have defiled the call of Allah and the teaching of Mohamed. I am the only one who survived together with my child. I was lying next to my husband’s dead body like a dead person. My two children were shot dead while escaping and I could also see their dead bodies. I stayed there for about 30 minutes as the rebels went on to kill my parents, brothers, and other villagers. I scooped the soil that was all soaked in my husband’s blood, hoping to keep it as a reminder of him if I survived.”
After completing their evil mission, the militants went back to their hideout, torching houses as they went. When they reached Kahindo’s house, they noticed that she was still alive.
“They saw my body moving and they pulled me up from my husband’s body. They shouted that they had found a wife for their leader. So, they took me and my child away to the forest to be a sex slave to their boss. He abused me for a few days but stopped when my caesarian section scar started bleeding.”
Kahindo’s chunk of blood-soaked soil would turn out to be her food together with her child.
“For the three weeks that the rebels held us, they did not give us food. I used to pick some soil soaked in my husband’s blood and eat it together with wild green leaves and also give it to my child. We had no water but we could trap some with our hands when it was raining.”
Kahindo also witnessed many shootings in the captor’s camp.
“We were many at the camp in the forest. Those who did not corporate were being shot dead or slaughtered. I used to watch videos of Christians being killed but this time I witnessed it. They were speaking Arabic words as they slaughtered them. One of them was taking a video. We were forced to sleep on dead bodies.”
A glimmer of hope shone when the Congolese army, FARDC, came to free the captives. A war broke out, and Kahindo was rescued, but she was wounded in the process.
“When the army came to rescue us, they were shooting all over and two bullets missed me by a whisker. They scathed my right hand as I scampered for my life and the life of my child. I escaped from my captors that time and the army took me to their base in Luna. Due to fear and lack of food, planned to escape from the army base after a few days.”
She added, “I found more dead bodies along the way. They were people who had been killed by the rebels. I walked for five days until I reached Kasindi where well-wishers welcomed me and my child. I was tired and had given up. I even contemplated ending my life to be in heaven with my husband, my children, and my family members. But through the love and support from Christians here, I have been able to grieve appropriately and withstand the storm.”
Kahindo Odete and her child, Nuela, have no one to call a family member, a place to call home, a bed to lay their heads, food to eat, or a source of income. They are refugees in Kasindi, DRC.
“We ask that you pray for us to cope with this huge loss. Pray that the Lord heals our hearts and provides for us a house and a way of getting money. My child is also sick. Due to eating soil, she developed a problem in her stomach, and she rarely goes to the toilet. She might die if she doesn’t get treated soon.”
Please pray for Kahindo and her child as they heal from the trauma that they have experienced. Please also pray for all Christians in the Congo that face violence because of their faith.