The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has condemned the explosion of a homemade bomb Sunday morning at a church in northeastern part of the country, vowing to end activism of armed groups in the region.
At least two people were injured this morning when a homemade bomb exploded in a church in Beni city of North Kivu province.
The DRC government “condemns with the utmost energy” this tragedy, said the Ministry of Communication in a tweet, adding that the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) remain “more than determined to end activism of armed groups in this part of the country.”
“This (tragedy) further motivates the FARDC to intensify the hunt for those terrorists in disarray until the very end,” the ministry said. The explosion occurred at around 6 a.m. local time (0400 GMT), the city’s police chief Narcisse Muteba Kashale said. Witnesses said the explosion also destroyed several pews and other objects on the spot.
The experts of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC that rushed to the site after the explosion said it was a homemade bomb targeting Christians coming for the Sunday worship. The authorities have not identified the perpetrators, but many in the city believed it was an attack by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a militia group that has been active in the area for decades.
Last month, at least two Muslim imams were shot dead in two mosques in the middle of worship in the same city of Beni by unknown people, while hundreds of people have recently been killed in Beni territory by ADF rebels. Faced with the growing insecurity in the region, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi decided at the end of April to declare a state of siege in North Kivu and the neighboring Ituri province.