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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora