An unidentified man in the Democratic Republic of Congo has allegedly set himself on fire and died while holding a sign reading “Stop the genocide in Congo”.
The country has been embroiled in a civil war that has left thousands dead.
Based on data by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the DRC has the world’s highest number of internally displaced persons, with 6.9 million people uprooted by conflict as of October 2023.
“The conflict in the DRC is fuelled by the competition for the rich natural resources of the region, such as gold, coltan, and cobalt, which are used in various industries and technologies,” reported BNN a local news outlet.
According to the news outlet, the region is ruled by scores of armed factions, some of whom are reportedly supported by neighbouring nations such as Rwanda and Uganda, who aim to capitalise on the zone’s resources and gain influence over DRC politics.
A video that was first posted on X (formerly Twitter) on November 8, of a Congolese man setting himself on fire has gone viral.
The gruesome clip has started a discussion on whether a genocide is occurring in the DRC and is being ignored by both Africa and the rest of the world.
The footage captured an unidentified male standing in the midst of a crowd in Kinshasa with a banner that reads “Stop the genocide in Congo.”
He is then seen pouring some fuel over himself then igniting a match and bursting into flames.
Those present yelled and attempted to assist him, but he shoved them away and eventually collapses on the ground, with the flames engulfing him.
The video concludes with the man immobile on the sidewalk, surrounded by smoke and flames.
This devastating clip has left those who have watched it reeling and wondering what could have prompted the man to self immolate.
In 2011, in the city of Boma, Cedrick Nianza, a young man also self-immolated in public.
According to eyewitnesses the man kept shouting Congo na nga, Congo na nga (my Congo, my Congo) as the flames engulfed him.
He died of his burn wounds after a week at a hospital.