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08/07/2023 DRC (International Christian Concern) – An estranged wife and children, persistent pain, and despair have been the story for a 35-year-old man injured on January 17, 2023, during an Allied Democratic Force (ADF) incursion in Eringeti, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Muhindo was in the palm fields with his wife and mother when the Congolese Islamist group suddenly stormed Mutuei village and started kidnapping farmers. Most of them were able to escape, but Muhindo could not since he was up the trees harvesting palms for oil pressing.  

“I was up the palm trees cutting down the palms. I saw the rebels coming from afar. I alerted my wife and mother, who immediately took off. I did my best to silently descend in haste in order to save myself and the others. But before I could come down, the rebels arrived, and they were chasing after those in the fields. I jumped and ran away,” Muhindo recalled.  

The ADF rebels have been at the center of the ongoing three-decade DRC conflict that has left millions dead or displaced, with others kidnapped, radicalized, and sent back to kill their own families. Young and strong men have been a target for militia training as the Islamic State-allied group continues to wage war against the government and the Christians in what they call a push for the Islamization of the DRC.  

Muhindo would be a perfect fit for this mission, so they pursued him.   

“One of the rebels chased me inside the bushes, and I managed to outrun him. Sadly, I fell into a valley as I fled further away from him. I found myself on the ground writhing in pain, and I could not get up. I felt a sharp pain in my pelvis and back. Plunged in fear of the enemy, it was not possible to call for help, for that would attract the relentless killers. I spent the whole night in this valley without the ability to get out of it. I knew they had caught up with my family, especially my mother, who could not run for long.” 

Help would come from a person Muhindo thought had been killed, his mother, Masika.  

She recalls, “After a day, the population that survived and the army came to the place to search for the missing people. I showed them where my son was working before we were scattered, and we traced his footprints and found him lying in the valley. He had spent a night there. We pulled him out and took him to the hospital for treatment.”  

Muhindo had suffered from a fractured pelvis and spine. He needed a costly procedure to help regain mobility. But his family, displaced and poverty-stricken, could not afford complete treatment and physiotherapy, forcing them to withdraw and resort to traditional massage practitioners. His life had taken a bitter turn that incapacitated him. His wife took the children and left since he could not provide for them.  

But Muhindo’s hope to have his health back is not all lost. Through ICC’s intervention, he began new treatment in July, marking the first steps to recovery for the prayerful Congolese Christian.  

“I am thankful to the people that organized my treatment. I am now able to sit and support my back for the first time in eight months. I see light from afar, and as I have that glimpse, my sole prayer and anticipation is for a better nation where freedom of worship is upheld,” said Muhindo.  

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