A woman has been publicly raped and beheaded in the Democratic Republic of Congo on allegations that she served fish to rebels in the war-torn region.
The deceased was killed by gunmen who, as shown in a horrific online footage, claimed she served them “forbidden food.”
According to a report from France 24, militants from a rebel movement known as Kamuina Nsapsu, carried out the execution after forcing the woman’s step-son to have sex with her in full glare of the public. Both victims where then beheaded by the armed men who also drank their blood.
“The first time, I had so many tears and so much anger that I couldn’t watch the full video,” Louise Ngandu told France 24. “In the entire crowd, not a single person opposed the act. No one said, ‘No!'”
The brutality is considered a part of some bloody rituals conducted for protection during ethnic wars. Among the long list of superstitions observed by fighters is the need to avoid certain foods which include fish, vines, tapioca leaves and meat.
Unfortunately for the woman who owns a restaurant in Kamuina Nsapsu town, she served them fish unknowingly.
The woman’s mistake was considered as “high treason,” an offense which attracts the death penalty. She was held by the hair, assaulted, raped and beheaded.
Some of the witnesses said the boy was with her when the meal was served, and France 24 said it has documented evidence to prove the atrocity from rebels who have fought against the Congolese Army in a year-long conflict.
A large number of people watched that nightmarish “punishment” at the main public square of Luebo, a town which briefly served as home to nearly 40,000 people.
“She was accused of serving fish to rebels who were fighting on the front-lines in Kabao,” one of the witnesses, a resident in the small town, said on condition of anonymity. “They said she gave them beans that contained pieces of a small, local fish.
“Convinced that she had broken their protection charms, the council of rebels sentenced both the woman and the son of her husband’s second wife to commit incest in public,” the resident said.
The victims’ mutilated corpses were left out in the open for two days before finally being buried on the spot. After the village was liberated, the Red Cross helped move the bodies to a cemetery.
The group of Kamuina Nsapu rebels seized Luebo on March 31 and held it for 20 days until being ousted by the Congolese army on April 19.