The internet is abuzz with this horrible death which played out in public the town’s main square in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When you talk of extreme punishments, this one will send shivers down your spine. This is a story which would make wonder how brutal people can be.
The clip which has been blurred out for most parts on most mediums shows how a woman was punished for allegedly having given ‘forbidden fish’ to a group of other rebels. The pictures you see are of a very public humiliation and execution that took place in Luebo, Kasai-Occidental province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in April this year. The clip, which became viral recently, only serves to emphasise the might of the Congolese militia which calls themselves the Kamuina Nsapu rebel movement.
The Kamwina Nsapu rebellion is an ongoing rebellion instigated by the Kamwina Nsapu militia against state security forces in the DRC, in the provinces of Kasaï-Central, Kasaï, Kasai-Oriental, Lomami and Sankuru for refusing to recognise their chief - Kamwina Nsapu. In 2016 he was killed while fighting the DRC government forces and then the whole rebellion took on a more terrible and military behaviour, given to killing anyone who sided with the government.
Congolese media reports detail what went on in the video. The person recording the video introduces Kalamba Kambangoma,(pictured above) a rebel leader, also called “grand chief”. He first dragged the victim by her hair as a crowd gathered to see what is going on. In the local Tshiluba language he informed the expectant crowd that this woman had committed something that amounted to ‘high treason and that “she must die”. The woman was pushed over to a woman wearing pink t-shirt and a red bandanna, the two colours demarcate them as members of the Kamuina Nsapu movement.
What follows then is a dreadful humiliation of the woman as a crowd jeers and boos the victim. She is stripped off her clothes, beaten then forced to perform a sex act on her husband’s second wife’s son with other members whipping them as they do the act. Her stepson and she are beheaded with machetes and then some of the rebels celebrate the terrible killing by drinking her blood and posing with the head of the young man. Their bodies were left on display in the town centre for over two days, the bodies buried in the same spot and finally after the town was freed from the rebel group, someone was kind enough to give them a decent burial in a cemetery.
FRANCE 24, a news channel covering the incident found out that the victim so brutally killed was running a restaurant and she had offered beans containing small fish to a group of rebels. The Nsapus also have a strong belief in protection charms and other such superstitions. According to the Nsapu militia, the rebels have to refrain from having sex, washing themselves and eating meat, fish and other items while fighting. The woman in offering the men fish had reportedly broken their protection charm and brought them danger.
The Luebo residents who were under the control of the Nsapu rebels at that time could only stand afar and watch what was happening. Fearing for their lives, they applauded the barbaric act. The woman eyewitnesses say was no trouble at all. The young man who was beheaded with her was around 20 years old and was punished because he too was present that day. The town has a population of 40,000 for 20 days from March 31 before the Congolese army forced them out.