Bundu dia Kongo
Bundu dia Kongo is a politico-cultural movement founded in June 1969 by Ne Mwanda Nsemi. The movement is mainly based in the Bas-Congo province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The movement focuses on defending, protecting, and promoting values, rights, and interests of Kongo people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The movement advocates for the establishment of a federal government system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while seeking to eradicate social and economic injustices long imposed to Kongo people by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The movement is led by Ne Muanda Nsemi. The movement has several thousand followers in Kinshasa and in the Bas-Congo province. For decades, the movement has had a relatively strong sustainable impact on the Kongo people. The movement's main concern is the social transformation of African societies through cultural regeneration. The movement also focuses on the resistance against pre-conceived destruction of the history of Kongo people, their fundamental values, and their identity through knowledge of their spiritual patrimony.
Clashes with the police
In 2002 the police shot to death 14 followers of Bundu dia Kongo in a demonstration.
In January and February 2007, the followers of Bundu dia Kongo demonstrated against alle in the provincial elections, which led to violent clashes with the police and the military in Matadi, Muanda, Boma and Songololo. The clashes resulted to the death of 134 people, mostly civilians but also several policemen. The movement also has a strong belief in their ancestors and consider Jesus Christ as a prophet. In late February and early March 2008, the followers of Bundu dia Kongo clashed with the police in and around Luozi and Seke-Banza. According to the police, the clashes resulted in the death of 25 people (22 of them in Luozi) and many wounded. Nsemi, who said that he had called for calm and a neutral investigation, alleged that the police had killed 80 people in Luozi and 40 in Seke-Banza. Later, in May, corpses of 40 people were unearthed in five mass graves in Sumbi, in the territory of Seke-Banza. Also a police car and several houses (including the meeting house of Bundu dia Kongo) were burned in Luozi and the nearby village of Lufuku.
Later in March 2008, the Congolese government banned Bundu dia Kongo.
United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) carried out a special inquiry into the events. The report concludes that at least 100 people, mainly members of Bundu dia Kongo, were killed in the police operations in Bas-Congo. According to the report, the high death toll resulted from excessive use of force, when the police armed with AK-47s opened fire on BDK members, who were armed with sharp sticks, stones and kola nuts. A large number of bodies were dumped in rivers and mass graves in an attempt to conceal evidence. Also over 200 buildings were burned and private houses were looted by the police.
BDK upholds a presence in the western part of Congo and their idea of resisting all western influence has also resulted in attacks on for example Christian churches. In February 2017 new violent clashes between Congolese police and BDK activists was reported.
- "Police, DR Congo sect clash", Sapa-AFP (IOL), March 5, 2008.
- "40 corps exhumés de 5 fosses communes par la police à Sumbi", Radio Okapi, May 3, 2008
- "RDC: le gouvernement interdit une secte politico-religieuse" Archived May 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), March 22, 2008 (French).
- "Special Inquiry Into the Bas Congo Events of February and March 2008"[permanent dead link], MONUC Human Rights Division, 2008.