Last year, Congolese, US and UN officials linked the Allied Democratic Forces, a mysterious Congo-based rebel group, to the Islamic State, raising the frightening possibility that even as the militant jihadist group loses ground in the Middle East, it’s extending its grasp into this mineral and oil rich region of Africa.
Since 2013, a series of brutal massacres have claimed nearly 2000 civilian lives in this region and driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Congolese army offensives have been met with fierce reprisal attacks.
This information is based on more than 60 hours of interviews with over 100 survivors of the recent massacres, as well as ADF fighters.
Our evidence suggests that the ADF is almost certainly not solely responsible for the recent massacres, and we find no evidence of meaningful ties between the ADF and ISIS.