A woman has been raped in public and killed by a rebel militant group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reportedly because she served the gunmen “forbidden food”.
France 24 said it had compiled footage and witness statements documenting the incident, rare evidence of the atrocities being committed on the front lines of a year-long conflict between the Congolese Army and a rebel movement known as the Kamuina Nsapu.
Witnesses said the gunmen forced the woman’s step-son, who was working with her when the food was served, to rape her in the main public square of Luebo, a town of 40,000 people that was briefly occupied by the Kamuina Nsapu earlier this year.
Both were then killed by the armed rebels who, according to the report, then drank some of the victims’ blood.
The killing has been linked to protection rituals which are observed by the Kamuina Nsapu during periods of fighting, including the perceived need to avoid certain foods. The woman, who owns a small restaurant, apparently served gunmen fish – which is banned, along with meat, cassava leaves and vines.
She is reportedly seen in the footage being held by the hair and told she “must die” for committing “high treason”.
One resident of the town, who has asked to remain anonymous, told France 24: “She was accused of serving fish to rebels who were fighting on the frontlines in Kabao. They said she gave them beans that contained pieces of a small, local fish.