News / Africa

DRC: 103 Died in Monday's Attacks

Congolese soldiers in their truck toward the state television headquarters in the capital Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 30, 2013.
Congolese soldiers in their truck toward the state television headquarters in the capital Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 30, 2013.
Anne Look
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo says 103 people were killed Monday when its forces repelled attacks in Kinshasa and at least two other towns. Eight soldiers were among those killed in the fighting, which appears to have been led by followers of  evangelical Christian pastor Joseph Mukungubila, a self-proclaimed prophet who is an outspoken opponent to the government.

DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende said security forces had captured more than 150 attackers. He said these young people had been sent on "suicide missions" by what he referred to as a "sort of guru." But he did not name that person.  

Mende said several justifications have been put forth to explain Monday's violence, and that they are political in nature. He said it is hard to link them with any "plan of God," and difficult to see how one individual could have the right to wreak havoc in society because he is upset about a nomination to some post. Mende said political and judicial means exist for addressing these kinds of grievances.

On Monday, young men who briefly captured the state TV station went on the air and identified themselves as followers of Mukungubila.

Sites under armed attack in Kinshasa, DRCSites under armed attack in Kinshasa, DRC
x
Sites under armed attack in Kinshasa, DRC
Sites under armed attack in Kinshasa, DRC
The station was one of three locations that were attacked in the capital city.

A press release from "the Office of the Prophet" posted to Facebook and released by the pastor's Twitter account said the attacks were a spontaneous uprising by his followers in several parts of the country. The statement says the uprising was a response to security forces that had stopped young followers from distributing leaflets the day before, and then attacked the pastor's home in the southeastern town of Lubumbashi.

The web site for Mukungubila's ministry, called the Ministry of Restoration From Black Africa http://www.ministryofrestoration.com/ , dubs him the "Prophet of the Eternal."

A series of YouTube videos that profile Mukungubila bill him as "marrying the priesthood and politics."

Mukungubila ran for president in 2006, but won less than one percent of the vote. He has since been a minor, if vocal, political figure, frequently and vehemently criticizing President Joseph Kabila and the neighboring country of Rwanda.

Mukungubila has confirmed to several international media outlets that his followers took part in Monday's attacks. It remains unclear, however, if he had any role in coordinating the violence or if his followers acted on their own.

Jean Noel Ba-Mweze contributed reporting from Kinshasa.

  • Congolese security forces secure the street near the state television headquarters in Kinshasa, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • Congolese security officers position themselves as they secure the street near the state television headquarters (C) in the capital Kinshasa, DRC, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • Congolese women run for safety along a deserted street during a clash near the state television headquarters in Kinshasa, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • Residents gather to watch security forces patrol the street near state television headquarters in Kinshasa, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • Congolese soldiers ride on their pick-up truck towards the state television headquarters in Kinshasa, Dec. 30, 2013.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs