Psalm 72:4 “May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!”
The following reflects a desperate cry of help from a friend whose people are suffering too much:
I want to draw your attention to the situation of the Banyamulenge of Eastern Congo. This largely Christian tribe is experiencing genocide, with attacks and horrific atrocities on a regular basis, at the hands of the Mai Mai and other militias. At the end of this article is a call to action.
The Banyamulenge number around 60,000 to 70,000 and are relatives of the larger Tutsi tribe of Rwanda. They have lived in eastern Congo, on the plateau of South Kivu, for some 300 years. Despite this historic fact, neighbouring tribes claim they do not belong in Congo and consequently should be exterminated.
There appears to be clear evidence that the Democratic Republic of Congo regular army (FARDC), allows and even facilitates these atrocities, rather than fulfilling their duty to protect their own citizens. For example, two days before a recent Mai Mai offensive, the Congolese army was witnessed handing over ammunition to this militia group, near Mikenge in South Kivu. The following clip references the complicity of FARDC in these atrocities:
Some examples of atrocities include:
Between May and late October 2019, according to two of my informants (anonymous for their own security), the region of Itombwe, which was 90% inhabited by the Banyamulenge, was completely destroyed. Twenty-eight villages were burned down, thousands of cattle systematically looted and several tens of civilians killed by the Mai Mai, Red Tabara, FNL and FOREBU. “After the destruction of these villages, the soldiers of the regular army who were assigned there were transferred elsewhere, because their mission was completed”.
On April 18, 2020 the ladies Nyamwiza and Nyamutarutwa and Mr Adoni were tricked by the soldiers of Minembwe, who had promised to accompany them to their Cassava fields located one kilometre from their position. When they arrived at their fields, the soldiers withdrew and the Mai Mai arose and the two young ladies were raped, mutilated and ferociously killed, while Mr Adoni was shot and killed.
Pictured: recent victims of the Banyamulenge genocide and the wanton destruction of cattle.
The violence against the Banyamulenge includes rape, torture, mutilation, murder, and also the wide-spread destruction or theft of cattle – the means of survival for the tribe. The following article from Genocide Watch provides a brief and stark warning of genocide:
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s problems today are deeply connected to historic atrocities and the consequent brutalisation of the society. The area suffered from the most intensive slave trading in all Africa. Between 1500 and 1850 more than 4,000,000 million slaves were sent to North American plantations from that coastline. The men were often castrated and the women raped.
King Leopold II of Belgium, began probably the most brutal colonization in all of Africa in this same vast area in 1885. There were widespread reports of murder, torture and rape on the part of the colonists. The hands of men, women and children were amputated when rubber quotas were not met, and there is a consensus that around 10 million people died during this period. The DRC became an independent nation in 1960.
Many historic practices echo in recent atrocities of the region and especially the neighbouring 1994 Rwanda genocide, involving the slaughter of up to a million Tutsis, relatives of the Banyamulenge, and the rape of up to half-a-million women.
Missionaries to Congo have tried to steer the nation in a different direction, some at the cost of martyrdom, through evangelism and serving the needy. During early independence there was significant Christian influence in the government, although this was very hard to maintain.
Call to Action
In response to their situation, please urgently write to:
- Your local Member of Parliament/ governor.
- Your nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, or directly to the UN.
- Your nation’s Foreign Affairs department.
- For God’s protection of the Banyamulenge.
- For God’s comfort, healing and provision for the Banyamulenge.
- For the UN to recognise their situation as genocide – the destruction of an ethnic group.
- For the UN to recognise that the Democratic Republic of Congo regular army is complicit in these atrocities, and to respond effectively.
- That UN organization ‘Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’, MONUSCO, will effectively intervene.
- For God to convict the Mai Mai and other militia, DRC politicians and army officers of their sin against the Banyamelenge, and that the fear of God will come upon them.
- For the glory of God to be demonstrated in the region, for great blessings and a new season for the DRC.