Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo are undergoing continued attacks from a jihadist group, Muslim Defense International (MDI), previously known as ADF-NALU. Many Christian communities have been targeted, especially in the town of Beni and surrounding areas, as MDI seeks to advance its Islamist dominance. The most recent reports, which record 19 deaths occurring in September alone, are part of a much longer calamity.
Since October 2014, MDI has launched over 35 attacks, which have resulted in approximately 600 lives lost, 800 kidnapped, and over 500,000 displaced due to violence. MDI uses the tactic of kidnapping as a way to add to their numbers. Civilians, primarily children, are captured and taken to training camps in remote areas where they are abused and forced to join the militia. So far it is estimated that 1,500 children have been used for such purposes.
The MDI began in Uganda as a rebel group and until recently operated under the name of ADF-NALU. In 1995 it was driven out by the Ugandan army causing it to cross over into DR Congo territory. MDI has 800-1,400 highly organized and well-trained members who operate under the leadership of Shaykh Jamil Makulu. The organization has recently become more mobilized, and many are concerned there are links between MDI and other African jihadist groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and Al-Shabaab. Though this group poses an obvious threat not only to the DR Congo, but internationally, the international community has paid very little attention to its rising violent acts.
Please join Jubilee Campaign in praying for the DR Congo and the victims of these attacks. Pray that the international community would take these attacks seriously and respond with unified action against MDI. Finally, pray that God would strengthen Christians in the area and bring more people to himself amidst the ongoing violence and persecution.
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