The Allied Democratic Forces, a radical Islamist rebel group who have been waging war in Eastern Africa for decades, have been blamed for a Sept. 27 massacre that left 19 civilians dead in Mamove in Eastern Congo.
According to the State Department, the ADF established ties with ISIS in late 2018. The Kivu Security Tracker, a joint project between the Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch, recorded 310 civilian deaths in North Kivu attributed to the ADF, in the year of 2019.
The attack killed six United Methodists, who were memorialized at the Kivu Annual Conference on Oct. 6.
Rev. Dumas Balaganire, superintendent of the Beni District where the attack happened, reported the deaths at the conference in Goma Oct. 4-8 at Amani United Methodist Church.
According to Balaganire, the United Methodists who were killed are:
-Kakule Olenga, who led the choir at Mamove United Methodist Church.
-Okenge Junior, a member of the Mutuei church and the district evangelist.
-Abibu Chantal, president of United Methodist Women at the Samboko church.
-Mwayuma Shabani, secretary of the women's group at Mutuei United Methodist Church.
-Augustin Omeno, president of the United Methodist Men at the Mamove church.
-Muyisa Kambale, the treasurer of the Mamove church.
Balaganire said all United Methodists from the Beni District were gathering for a meeting before the Kivu conference when they were attacked on the road from Oicha to Beni by ADF forces.
Emile Ulangi, the lay leader of the Emergency Office in East Congo Episcopal Area in Beni, has called for punishment for the terrorists and that justice be brought swiftly for the victims of the terrible acts.
In addition, Ulangi pleaded for assistance for the widows and orphans of the dead.
East Congo Area Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda opened the Kivu Conference with a powerful address, calling on United Methodists to never forget those killed in the terror attack. Furthermore, the Bishop requested prayers for those who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic and for Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu, who died in a car accident in September.