Militia lays down arms in Congo

Militia members enter the Congolese city of Tshikapa in a truck to lay down their arms on January 29. (Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

(Photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

Joseph Nkongolo leads a literacy training session. (Photo by Zachary Cooke)

(Map by Betty Avery)

As truckloads of militia drove into Tshikapa to lay down their arms, Joseph Nkongolo went to meet them. Nkongolo—Coordinator of the Service and Development Department of the Mennonite Church of Congo—spoke of militia members saying they want to re-enter civil life. “Pray for us,” they said to him, “we have done horrible things; forgive us for what we have done.”

Congolese army officer arrested in U.N. murders case

Michael J. Sharp addresses the UN Security Council in August 2016. He and a colleague were abducted and killed in 2017 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Photo courtesy of the Sharp family)

Michael J. Sharp and fellow U.N. sanctions monitor Zaida Catalán of Sweden were abducted and killed in 2017 in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo while monitoring sanctions violations and possible war crimes by the Congolese national army and various militias.

‘I need to go to school’

Kanku Ngalamulume and Kapinga Ntumba are orphans living in Tshikapa, where they fled to after their parents were killed in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (MCC photo by Mulanda Juma)

Ten-year-old Kanku Ngalamulume fled from his home in the village of Senge after armed groups beheaded his mother and father and his siblings too.

He was among 1.4 million people in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have been forced from their homes as violence among local militias and the Congolese military erupted in August 2016.

Congolese Mennonites suffer atrocities amid displacement of 1.4 million

Menno Simons’ favourite verse was chosen for the cloth commemorating the centennial of Communauté Mennonite au Congo (Mennonite Community in Congo). Mennonites in the Democratic Republic of Congo are currently facing violence and displacement in the conflict-plagued Kasai region. (Photo by James Krabill)

Standing at the site of a Mennonite church in Kalonda village in Kasai Province, this 16-year-old mother said that her husband was murdered in her presence. She and her child are not named for security reasons. (MCC photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

In Kele village near Tshikapa in Kasai Province internally displaced people answer questions posed by the assessment team providing input for a collaborative Anabaptist response. (MCC photo by Joseph Nkongolo)

Downtown Kikwit in Kwilu province. Kikwit, which is home to many Mennonites, has received thousands of refugees from the Kasai region. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

Soap and salt purchased by Mennonite Church of Congo to assist refugees. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

A primary school plundered during March clashes between Kamuina Nsapu rebels and police in the Kasai region of DR Congo. (Photo © UNICEF / Dubourthoumieu)

Christine Mamina and Adolphine Tshiama, national secretary and national president, respectively of the Women's Association of Mennonite Church of Congo. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

Joseph Nkongolo, coordinator of the Development and Service Department of Mennonite Church of Congo. (Photo by Rod Hollinger-Janzen)

WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of violence.

Dozens of Congolese Mennonites have been killed, hundreds of their homes have been burned, and thousands of them have fled, as violence consumes the Kasai region, birthplace of the Mennonite church in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Michael J. Sharp’s journey toward peace in DR Congo

Michael J. Sharp, right, along with Church of Christ in Congo staffers Mitterrand Aoci and Merthus Mwenebantu, checks the bean fields planted by internally displaced people living in Mubimbi camp, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (MCC photo by Ruth Keidel Clemens)

At Shasha camp, one of the places where people lived after being displaced by violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Michael J. Sharp, left, and hosts from the camp and his colleagues from the Church of Christ in Congo, listen to Patrick Maxwell, right, who was an MCC service worker from 2013 to 2016. MCC carried out Canadian Foodgrains Bank food distributions and agriculture programs there and paid school fees for children living at the camp. (MCC photo by Patricia Kisare)

The peacebuilding career of Michael J. Sharp, a former service worker with Mennonite Central Committee, ended when he was kidnapped and killed while on a UN fact-finding mission in Kasai Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. 

EMU alumnus among those kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Michael J. “M.J.” Sharp, a United Nations official and former Mennonite Central Committee peace worker, has been reported kidnapped with five others by unknown assailants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this 2015 photo provided by MCC, he visits with Elizabeth Namavu and children in Mubimbi Camp, home to displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Photo by Jana Asenbrennerova, used with permission)

Michael J. “M.J.” Sharp, a United Nations official, was among six people kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to a press release issued Monday by the Congolese government.

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