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Islamic Extremists Violently Murder Eight in Congo: 'They Slashed Me With Machetes'

( [email protected] ) Dec 08, 2016 02:17 PM EST
The Islamist militant Allied Democratic Force (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo have violently slaughtered eight people in an ongoing effort to uproot the Christian population from the area.
Due to ongoing violence, more than 26 million orphans live in West and Central Africa, where Congo is located — the second highest number in the world behind South Asia, according to the United Nations. Reuters

The Islamist militant group Allied Democratic Force (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo has violently slaughtered eight people in an ongoing effort to uproot the Christian population from the area.

According to Persecution Watchdog Open Doors USA, the killings took place in Beni, located in the eastern part of the country.

Just a few weeks earlier, the Muslim extremist group attacked the same region, leaving 30 people dead and many wounded.

One victim recalled the chilling attack: "It was around 6pm. There were many of them [ADR members]. Some of them had guns, others machetes. They pushed me around for a while before someone forced me into the bush. Two of them slashed me with their machetes. After the second blow, I laid still like a corpse."

He continued: "They watched me bleed for what seemed like forever and then left, thinking I was dead. Afterwards, they went to a nearby house and set it on fire before taking off."

According to the UN, the ADR formed in 1989 and possess an estimated strength of 1,600 and 2,500 armed fighters. The rebel group is now based in Congo after being forced out of Uganda several years ago. Most members are Islamists who are opposed to the Ugandan government and want to establish Sharia law in Uganda.

The group has committed serious violations of international law - including the recruitment and use of child soldiers - and members have killed at least 700 people in various massacres since October 2014.

Open Doors notes that some believe the ADR has an agenda to uproot the Christian population from the area in order to gain a foothold for expansion into the rest of the East Africa Lakes region.

"We do not understand why this is happening to us," said one pastor, after an attack earlier this year, according to Catholic Online. "The rebels just take people into the bush to kill them or kidnap them. They attack one place for a while and cause people to run away. Then they strike the places people run to."

In August, Pope Francis condemned the "shameful silence" over the violence in the region.

At his Angelus for the feast of the Assumption, he said: "My thoughts go to the people of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who have been recently hit with fresh massacres, which have for some time been perpetrated in shameful silence, without attracting even as much as our attention. Unfortunately, they are part of the too many innocent people who have no weight on world opinion."

Tags : Allied Democratic Force, ADF, Islamic extremist, murder, Congo, Africa, machete, Open Doors USA