A video of a woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo who was publicly raped, whipped and decapitated in front of a cheering crowd, after serving “forbidden fish” to a group of anti-government rebels has gone viral on social media. After cutting off her head the rebels later drank her blood.
A disturbing video footage of the execution in Luebo, in the province of Kasaï-Occidental, shows the naked woman being shamed in the town’s main square by a group claiming allegiance to the Kamuina Nsapu rebel movement.
The video was filmed on April 8, 2017, but the footage recently emerged after circulating on Whatsapp.
The woman being ‘punished’ was accused of serving forbidden fish to rebels who visited her restaurant.
According to France 24, a resident of Luebo claimed “They said she gave them beans that contained pieces of a small, local fish.’
The resident added that “Convinced that she had broken their protection charms, the council of rebels led by a man named Kabata compelled both the woman and the son of her husband’s second wife to commit incest (have sex) in public.”
According to Congolese researcher and consultant Anaclet Tshimbalanga, the Kamuina Nsapu abstains from having sex, washing themselves and eating meat, fish and other items while fighting.
In video of the woman’s execution, the leader of the rebel group, Kalamba Kambangoma, is seen grabbing the woman by the hair before she is taken to the stage to be publicly raped.
Rebel leaders force the woman to have sex with the son of her husband’s second wife, and another woman is seen whipping the pair with branches.
Following the public rape, rebels executed the woman and the young man, believed to be in his 20s, by beheading them with machetes.
According to France 24, several rebels drank their blood after the execution, and some even posed with the young man’s severed head.
Onlookers could be heard applauding and screaming throughout the video. However, witnesses said Luebo residents stayed far from the stage.
The bodies remained on display for two days before they were moved to a local cemetery.
Tshimbalanga, a specialist in Congolese customs, said the woman’s death ‘goes completely contrary to local customs, which forbid both the death sentence and incest’.
She told France 24 that, “These cases of extreme violence are a result of drugs or, sometimes, of people getting caught up in the frenzy and excitement of bloodshed and war.”