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4/24/2024 DRC (International Christian Concern) — Members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked the Christian village of Mangina in Beni, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the evening of April 18, killing four people. The militants also ransacked several homes, burned three motorcycles, and stole livestock. 

The attack is the ADF’s second this month against the Christian community in North Kivu and its third this month in Beni. 

“This marks the latest assault in Beni as the insurgents persist in their brutal campaigns against innocent civilians,” a local civil society leader lamented. “The search for victims is ongoing, and we fear the death toll may rise. This incident follows a series of attacks last week, where more than 10 Christians fell victim to ADF violence. We urge the government to strengthen efforts to protect all citizens and their property.” 

One of three motorcycles burned in the latest ADF attack.

Among those who survived was Rachel, a young woman who sought refuge behind debris. With a trembling voice, she recounted the terror unleashed by the marauding rebels, who descended upon Mangina under the cover of darkness, their weapons blazing and hearts filled with malice. 

“They appeared out of nowhere,” Rachel recounted. “The night was filled with screams and gunfire, plunging us into chaos.” As she continued, tears welled in her eyes. 

“The rebels showed no mercy, targeting men, women, and children indiscriminately. Our once peaceful village became a scene of horror and devastation. I feared for my life,” Rachel whispered, her voice choked with emotion. “But somehow, I managed to escape.” 

Church leaders and human rights activists have decried the recent surge in attacks, calling out the government’s unfulfilled promises to eradicate rebel groups. A local priest condemned the atrocities as profoundly ungodly, given the wanton violence inflicted on innocent Christians while authorities seemingly stood by. 

“We are witnessing a tragic loss of lives due to terrorism, with the government failing to intervene effectively,” the priest said. “The rebels freely roam villages, instilling fear in everyone. Women and girls are being abducted and taken into camps hidden within dense forests. In the eastern region of DR Congo, there are now two distinct communities: those living in vulnerable villages and those forced to dwell in ADF strongholds deep in the wilderness. The population in these camps is rapidly expanding, threatening to surpass those residing in villages. May the Lord grant us deliverance.” 

*Names have been changed or withheld for security reasons 

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