January 15, 2023
On this Sunday, January 15, the Congolese Nation is once again in mourning and our thoughts are with the victims of the bombing committed in the middle of a service in the church of the 8th Community of Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa (CEPAC) in Kasindi, in the territory of Beni in North Kivu.
This massacre, which resulted in a heavy human toll and serious injuries, is intended to terrorize the population and is undoubtedly a war crime. We strongly condemn this attack, which can in no way be treated as a simple news item and must lead to a strong reaction from the State so that everyone can exercise their faith in peace.
The modus operandi of this despicable attack perpetrated with an improvised explosive device suggests that it is an attack by ADF extremists affiliated with the Islamic State who have been terrorizing the inhabitants of Beni territory since 2014. According to the UN, at least 370 civilians have been killed by the ADF in the region since April 2022.
We cannot continue to accept these human tragedies without reacting. The entire Nation must rise up to demand the return of security to the Provinces in conflict and put an end to the culture of impunity that fuels the repetition of atrocities against civilian populations.
We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, to the communities affected by this barbarity and, to the representatives of CEPAC.
-Dr. Denis Mukwege