Welcome back to the Nyantende Foundation’s blog! If you’re new here, we’re Heather and Maggie, the co-bloggers for Nyantende and your gateway into gaining knowledge about the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Even more exciting news: CONGO WEEK IS FINALLY HERE! In light of the events that are happening this week at Queen’s and beyond, us bloggers have decided to publish one short blog post per day. After you check out our posts, you should like our facebook page at “Nyantende Foundation” for details about this week’s events and how you can get involved!
Unfortunately, we have to start out the week on a more somber note, due to some recent events that have come to light in the DRC. Today’s post will share some insight into a massacre that has left at least 46 Congolese people dead in this past week.
BBC Africa released a report on Saturday saying that militants have killed at least 20 people, said to be mostly women and children, in the second massacre over two days. The day before, 26 people were rumoured killed in a town near Beni.
With the killers supposedly coming from neighbouring Uganda, a local pastor said that the individuals had been brutally killed with guns, machetes and axes in the village of Eringeti. The Ugandan killers are said to be part of a Ugandan Islamist group, called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). This statement has yet to be confirmed.
The UN mission in the DR Congo has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect civilians from these kinds of attacks. The military was also slow to respond.
The ADF are based in the most mineral-rich parts of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where they have apparently caused havoc over two decades. According to the UN, the group recently established links with Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.
Peace agreements last year have obviously failed to end violence in DRC’s eastern regions. According to a UN official, several thousand civilians have fled their homes as a result of the attacks.
It was heartbreaking for us to read about this on the eve of Congo Week. But there remains a glimmer of hope: we stand in solidarity with the Congolese people this week and onwards, advocating for peace, justice and human dignity and raising awareness about the events that are happening in the Congo.
We urge everyone that is reading this to continue to stay informed on issues in the Congo and on pan-African issues. This genocide cannot be silenced, and neither can we.
Check back for a post on Congolese women tomorrow!
Heather and Maggie