Shadows of Islamists

A 2015 reportage from Eastern Congo supported by the IWMF Great Lakes Reporting Initiative

The picturesque town of Beni in the East of Congo did not know violence during the infamous Congo wars. But the infamous Ugandan-led Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has been active in the Beni province for about 20 years now, having established strong economic network while remaining largely invisible. However, after the chain of massacres in Beni in the autumn of 2014, the biggest being Ngadi, where 32 people were killed in the same night, many started to say ADF acquired an Islamist agenda, rather than traditionally thinking to them as “bad Ugandans willing to destroy Congo”. At the same time, some experts noted the rise of number of Muslims in Kivus up to 10% of population and the two facts combined, plus kidnapping of three priests right from the church, gave grounds to rumours and fear, from Beni’s both Muslim and Christian communities alike.