[00:00:04.16] (VO) Beni, a city and region in the north of North Kivu, [00:00:08.11] (VO) in the eastern part of Congo. [00:00:13.10] (VO) Since October 2014 the Beni region is the setting for a series of particularly bloody attacks, [00:00:19.14] (VO) which seems to have no end. [00:00:23.01] (VO) In over 100 attacks over a thousand innocent civilians were probably killed. [00:00:29.01] (VO) All this happens right under the noses of UN peacekeepers. [00:00:32.20](ACTIVITY) My God, we never hurt anyone. [00:00:35.13](ACTIVITY) No, no, Madam. [00:00:37.11](ACTIVITY) How is it possible that all these people are being killed, [00:00:39.19](ACTIVITY) when there are UN troops present in the field? [00:00:44.24] (TITEL) BENI FILES Elien Spillebeen & Martijn D'haene [00:00:55.14] (VO) No international or national authority maintains any list of names of the victims. [00:01:01.15] (VO) The Congolese are rarely registered at birth or death. [00:01:06.05] (VO) As a result, these victims die anonymously. [00:01:09.18] (VO) Thanks to the Beni Files I hope to prevent this. [00:01:12.19] (VO) Beni Files should give faces to the victims. [00:01:16.03] (VO) In an online monument I want to perpetuate their lives and their fates, [00:01:20.10] (VO) and show the world what has been inflicted upon them. [00:01:24.03] (VO) But I cannot do this alone. [00:01:28.09](ACTIVITY) 'Hello?' [00:01:29.10] (VO) Jean Baptiste is a local human rights activist. [00:01:32.07] (VO) He is in close contact with the local chiefs and victims. [00:01:36.24] (VO) He and his fellow volunteers report what really happens, [00:01:41.03] (VO) in the hope of bringing those responsible before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. [00:01:46.24](ACTIVITY) We want those who are behind this, [00:01:49.21](ACTIVITY) first of all to be identified, [00:01:52.05](ACTIVITY) and for the judicial authorities to be able to help us to find them. [00:01:59.14](ACTIVITY) An independent investigation should be carried out [00:02:03.00](ACTIVITY), so that one day they are judged by the court. [00:02:07.22] (VO) Richard is a journalist at the local radio station, Radio Moto. [00:02:12.12] (VO) The radio is still the main, and often only source of news for the locals. [00:02:18.00](ACTIVITY) My main weapon is my dictaphone. [00:02:19.23](ACTIVITY) Then, my phone, a note book, a pen ... [00:02:24.02](ACTIVITY) in order to go in search of the information. [00:02:27.01](ACTIVITY) It's more important now people are being slaughtered here. [00:02:30.06](ACTIVITY) We are in contact with people on the field daily. [00:02:32.19](ACTIVITY) ...our aim is to honour the victims of the massacres in the region of Beni, Beni Files ... [00:02:38.23](ACTIVITY) The role of every good journalist, of a committed journalist, [00:02:44.15](ACTIVITY) is to give a voice to them who do not have a voice. [00:02:49.05](ACTIVITY) So to be the voice of the voiceless. [00:02:54.13] (VO) For six weeks, along with Jean Baptiste and Richard, I searched for the identities of the victims. [00:03:01.07](ACTIVITY) HI. [00:03:02.03](ACTIVITY) Hello. [00:03:04.09] (VO) On paper the victims did not even appear to exist. [00:03:07.20] (VO) But in reality they were part of someone's life. [00:03:11.13](ACTIVITY) They killed my little brother. [00:03:14.10](ACTIVITY) It was my son. [00:03:15.12](ACTIVITY) My husband is dead. [00:03:16.24] (VO) We want to prove their existence, [00:03:19.05] (VO) by showing they were someone’s brother, ... [00:03:21.08] (VO) sister, ... [00:03:22.10] (VO) father, mother, or child. [00:03:25.14](ACTIVITY) My brother, his wife and my mother, … [00:03:27.18](ACTIVITY) all 3 are dead. [00:03:29.07](ACTIVITY) My little brothers did not return. [00:03:31.23](ACTIVITY) My wife's body was found. [00:03:34.18](ACTIVITY) They found my brother and his wife dead, all dead. [00:03:37.05](ACTIVITY) My wife and our child. [00:03:39.12](ACTIVITY) Mapiranga, Amelie and our aunt Priscilla ... [00:03:45.08](ACTIVITY) And the 2 children: Josée and Bosco. [00:03:50.12](ACTIVITY) And also Maman Fossina and Toto. [00:03:53.05](ACTIVITY) My father who set me on this earth, he is dead! [00:03:57.24] (VO) Everybody has lost somebody. [00:04:00.06] (VO) We meet childless parents, [00:04:02.20] (VO) widows and widowers, [00:04:05.13] (VO) and lost children, like Didi. [00:04:09.13](ACTIVITY) My parents went to get coal, to cook, [00:04:13.01](ACTIVITY) and should have come back in the evening. [00:04:15.15](ACTIVITY) I waited and hoped to see them alive again. [00:04:18.20](ACTIVITY) I was on the lookout, but did not see them. [00:04:22.10](ACTIVITY) I kept waiting and watching, but ... [00:04:24.03](ACTIVITY) Nothing. [00:04:27.06](ACTIVITY) A few days later, survivors arrived. [00:04:30.20](ACTIVITY) They said: 'There's no nobody left.' [00:04:36.15](ACTIVITY) I said: 'Nobody left?' [00:04:40.01](ACTIVITY) Then I burst into tears. [00:04:43.19](ACTIVITY) I cried… [00:04:49.05](ACTIVITY) I often think of my mum. [00:04:53.06](ACTIVITY) She was good to everyone. [00:04:55.14](ACTIVITY) She never had any problems. [00:05:06.11](ACTIVITY) One day I met a soldier. [00:05:11.00](ACTIVITY) He said I could stay with him. [00:05:15.20](ACTIVITY) If bad people threaten me, [00:05:20.06](ACTIVITY) his weapon will protect me. [00:05:23.05](ACTIVITY) It's good to have a weapon, so close. [00:05:33.24](ACTIVITY) They spoke in a kind of Swahili that we do not understand here. [00:05:37.04](ACTIVITY) They spoke Kinyarwanda. [00:05:39.08](ACTIVITY) They spoke Swahili, [00:05:42.18](ACTIVITY) But among themselves they spoke a different language. [00:05:46.19](ACTIVITY) Many children accompanied them. [00:05:48.24](ACTIVITY) And when they saw other children, they took them hostage. [00:05:51.19](ACTIVITY) Their chiefs were dressed in uniform like our army, the FARDC. [00:05:58.07](ACTIVITY) They are thought to be the rebels of ADF-Nalu, but we do not really know where they are from. [00:06:03.10] (VO) The descriptions of attackers differ too much to identify them as belonging to one specific group. [00:06:09.03] (VO) The population has no clear picture of the enemy. [00:06:13.03] (VO) On top of that, it seems as if certain parts of the army, [00:06:17.24] (VO) use the chaos to settle personal scores. [00:06:23.17](ACTIVITY) One night I saw three soldiers coming towards me. [00:06:27.14](ACTIVITY) They blocked my door. [00:06:30.13](ACTIVITY) I had a machete by my side. [00:06:34.06](ACTIVITY) I held the machete close, in case I had to use it. [00:06:39.08](ACTIVITY) The Major shouted: [00:06:43.05](ACTIVITY) 'Leblanc! It's me! Do not attack me! We are on patrol! ' [00:06:48.04](ACTIVITY) I said, 'A patrol does not enter private land just like that.' [00:06:53.20](ACTIVITY) They bound my hands with a nylon rope. [00:06:56.09](ACTIVITY) He asked me where my wife was. [00:06:59.22](ACTIVITY) I said she was not at home. [00:07:03.06](ACTIVITY) He asked: 'Why not?' [00:07:05.17](ACTIVITY) 'Because it's not safe.', I told him. [00:07:09.24](ACTIVITY) He wasn't satisfied by the answer. [00:07:12.04](ACTIVITY) They started to choke me with a rope. [00:07:15.10](ACTIVITY) One pulled the rope on this side, the other in the other direction. [00:07:19.19](ACTIVITY) I had too little strength to defend myself. [00:07:24.00](ACTIVITY) Then they took the machete [00:07:25.17](ACTIVITY) And they began to cut my throat. [00:07:30.22](ACTIVITY) Thank God they also cut the rope with the machete. [00:07:36.23](ACTIVITY) Then they started to hit me on the head. [00:07:39.03](ACTIVITY) I got hit on the head three times with the machete. [00:07:41.20](ACTIVITY) I felt the Holy Spirit come to me ... [00:07:45.16](ACTIVITY) The Holy Spirit said to me, 'Run away!' [00:07:49.17](ACTIVITY) I managed to get away. [00:07:49.18](ACTIVITY) I ran behind the house. [00:07:53.12](ACTIVITY) They started shooting. 'Ta ta ta ...' [00:07:55.11](ACTIVITY) We did not know what was happening. [00:07:57.20](ACTIVITY) We immediately jumped in the brook. [00:08:03.01](ACTIVITY) But our child wasn't with us. [00:08:05.07](ACTIVITY) The soldiers told everyone to go inside. [00:08:10.11](ACTIVITY) Then they began to kill civilians. [00:08:14.02](ACTIVITY) I heard my boy crying as they killed his grandmother. [00:08:16.06](ACTIVITY) The soldiers said: 'Do not cry for grandma. You will be asleep soon.' [00:08:23.21](ACTIVITY) I only walked 100 meters ... [00:08:30.05](ACTIVITY) ... and ran into other security forces. [00:08:33.18](ACTIVITY) Soldiers, accompanied by police officers. [00:08:40.11](ACTIVITY) They asked me who I was. But I was too weak to answer. [00:08:46.14](ACTIVITY) I fell on the ground. [00:08:49.12](ACTIVITY) Fortunately, there was also a friend of mine with them. [00:08:53.14](ACTIVITY) He brought me to the hospital in Oicha. [00:08:57.18](ACTIVITY) I saw the bodies. [00:08:59.00](ACTIVITY) I came out of the house with my son's body in my arms. [00:09:03.07](ACTIVITY) Outside, I came across Commander Mundose with his troops. [00:09:06.11](ACTIVITY) He: 'What happened?' I: 'Here ... this is your work.' [00:09:09.02](ACTIVITY) I showed my son's body. [00:09:12.01](ACTIVITY) Our own soldiers have done this evil to us, not the rebels. [00:09:18.17] (VO) Events like these, and wrong information - provided on purpose or not -, [00:09:23.18] (VO) blur the bigger picture. [00:09:25.18] (VO) The population still does not know why their villages are targeted. [00:09:30.05] (VO) In the meantime, their nightmare continues. [00:09:40.02](ACTIVITY) It was awful. [00:09:41.14](ACTIVITY) There were dead bodies everywhere, killed like mosquitoes. [00:09:44.13](ACTIVITY) I saw dead bodies that had their hands tied. [00:09:47.11](ACTIVITY) After dinner they hung my husband with a mosquito net [00:09:52.14](ACTIVITY) and hit him on the head with an axe. [00:09:57.19](ACTIVITY) They kept hitting us. They even hit my child's on my back with an axe. [00:10:03.17](ACTIVITY) They cut him into pieces. [00:10:05.21](ACTIVITY) They burned the house with everyone in it and the rebels were enjoying it. [00:10:11.16](ACTIVITY) We found his body without its head. [00:10:14.02](ACTIVITY) They'd cut off his head with a machete. [00:10:15.23](ACTIVITY) And his skull was split in two. [00:10:18.11](ACTIVITY) They slit his throat and cut a piece from his back. [00:10:22.01](ACTIVITY) His intestines were already spread out over the ground ... [00:10:28.10](ACTIVITY) They took turns beating him, as if it were playing cards. [00:10:31.19](ACTIVITY) They also cut off his genitals. [00:10:36.02](ACTIVITY) We do not know where they took these body parts. [00:10:43.07](ACTIVITY) I get up? - Yes. [00:11:00.02] (VO) In a period of six weeks we talked to 653 people, [00:11:06.00] (VO) who gave us 739 names of victims. [00:11:11.16] (VO) We spoke to over a hundred direct eyewitnesses [00:11:15.24] (VO) and documented 95 attacks. [00:11:22.03] (VO) But we did not reach half of the villages. [00:11:25.21] (VO) The more people hear about Beni Files, [00:11:28.15] (VO) the more witnesses come forward. [00:11:32.01] (VO) The queues are getting longer every day. [00:11:35.21] (VO) How many victims are there really? [00:11:39.11] (ACTIVITY) The total number? [00:11:41.00](ACTIVITY) It might be over 1,000 [00:11:44.01](ACTIVITY) There is a need for a proper report, with the correct numbers. [00:11:49.13](ACTIVITY) Look at the attack on Vemba ... That's awful! [00:11:58.06] (VO) One of the worst attacks took place on November 20, 2014, in the farming village of Vemba. [00:12:06.21](ACTIVITY) We were working in the field [00:12:11.14](ACTIVITY) when someone came to tell us we had to gather for a census. [00:12:19.01](ACTIVITY) I said to my sons, 'Don't go.' [00:12:23.04](ACTIVITY) But they went and joined the others. [00:12:27.15](ACTIVITY) I heard a voice coming form a walkie talkie. [00:12:29.21](ACTIVITY) Someone asked if he had found more people to bring. [00:12:35.07](ACTIVITY) That call frightened me. [00:12:38.02](ACTIVITY) I was going to get something to eat at home, quickly, before joining the gathering. [00:12:42.18](ACTIVITY) On my way, from a distance, I saw soldiers tying up people, [00:12:46.18](ACTIVITY) with ropes used to tie goods to a bicycle. [00:12:50.05](ACTIVITY) I saw how they hurt these people. [00:12:53.06](ACTIVITY) I was scared because of what was happening there. [00:12:55.19](ACTIVITY) I was in the field when I heard gun shots. [00:13:03.05](ACTIVITY) I did not know what was going on. [00:13:09.22](ACTIVITY) I turned back immediately to warn the others. [00:13:14.24](ACTIVITY) Someone asked me why I was in such a hurry. [00:13:17.09](ACTIVITY) I replied, “There’s war over there!” [00:13:28.16](ACTIVITY) The night fell ... [00:13:31.04](ACTIVITY) Until morning I was alone in the field, knowing I had lost my children. [00:13:53.17](ACTIVITY) The only thing that's left for me is my poverty. [00:13:57.02](ACTIVITY) There will never be peace for us. [00:14:14.21](ACTIVITY) The next morning I got up and went to see. [00:14:18.21](ACTIVITY) I went to the place where the meeting had taken place. [00:14:24.23](ACTIVITY) I saw bodies. Their hands were tied. [00:14:29.17](ACTIVITY) I saw corpses ... [00:14:31.16](ACTIVITY) I saw bodies with smashed heads. [00:14:35.02](ACTIVITY) Long after they died the army arrived. [00:14:38.06](ACTIVITY) The next day I heard that my brother was killed. [00:14:42.06](ACTIVITY) A lot of people got killed. [00:14:44.07](ACTIVITY) There must have been about 80 people killed at the meeting. [00:14:50.11](ACTIVITY) Plus all the people killed out in the field. [00:15:00.05](ACTIVITY) The next morning someone asked me: [00:15:03.14](ACTIVITY) 'You, at your age, have you ever seen anything so cruel? [00:15:08.15](ACTIVITY) I said: 'No, I've never seen anything so violent.' [00:15:12.11](ACTIVITY) The next day I wanted to take some sheets [00:15:17.01](ACTIVITY) to go and get the bodies. [00:15:19.17](ACTIVITY) On our way there, me, my brother, my brother-in-law were stopped. [00:15:28.03](ACTIVITY) The army forbade us to enter the zone where the massacre had taken place. [00:15:34.10](ACTIVITY) None of the victims were buried, Because, for two months - [00:15:41.23](ACTIVITY) the soldiers did not allow anyone into the zone. [00:15:45.07](ACTIVITY) To this day we have not seen the bodies of our loved ones. [00:15:51.12](ACTIVITY) After the quarantine there were no bodies left to be found. [00:15:56.08] (VO) The planned nature of this attack raises many questions. [00:16:01.02] (VO) The mysterious seclusion of the army, [00:16:03.18] (VO) and the disappearance of the bodies [00:16:05.18] (VO) deepen the wounds even further [00:16:09.04] (VO) Every day I see UN soldiers on patrol or on the look-out. [00:16:15.03] (VO) The level of confidence local people have in these peacekeepers it at an all-time low. [00:16:20.23](ACTIVITY) How is it possible that all these people were killed, [00:16:23.22](ACTIVITY) when there are UN troops in the field? [00:16:31.20] (VO) They don’t dare go into the dense forest. [00:16:35.00] (VO) But even the villages along their daily route [00:16:38.00] (VO) and where we do a lot of our work, [00:16:41.01] (VO) cannot be considered as safe. [00:16:47.18] (VO) This became very clear to me on one of our last days in the field. [00:16:54.15](ACTIVITY) What happened? [00:16:55.17](ACTIVITY) We don't know. [00:16:58.12] (VO) Oicha, the village where we've been working for several days now, [00:17:02.00] (VO) is hit by an attack, just before dawn. [00:17:05.00](ACTIVITY) It was around 6:15 AM that they started shooting. [00:17:09.05](ACTIVITY) Over there. [00:17:10.00](ACTIVITY) A quarter to seven? [00:17:12.01](ACTIVITY) We just drank tea. [00:17:13.04](ACTIVITY) No. I was already in class. [00:17:17.09](ACTIVITY) The program starts at 6 o'clock. [00:17:19.07](ACTIVITY) They started to shoot. Near me ... [00:17:23.22](ACTIVITY) Everybody ran away. We left that place. [00:17:27.00](ACTIVITY) They were short, dressed in military uniforms, with a red scarf tied around their head. [00:17:33.14](ACTIVITY) I cannot believe this... [00:17:34.19](ACTIVITY) They're just killing people right here. [00:17:46.04](ACTIVITY) These presumed ADF/NALU rebels were passing through ... [00:17:50.03](ACTIVITY) and they immediately shot my brother where he stood. [00:17:55.19](ACTIVITY) We wanted to flee, but they were already there. [00:17:58.13](ACTIVITY) They shot him when he stood in the doorway. [00:18:01.22](ACTIVITY) He got a bullet in the leg. [00:18:03.20](ACTIVITY) When they noticed that he was still alive, they stabbed him with a knife, there, between his ribs. [00:18:27.04](ACTIVITY) He is a father ... [00:18:29.01](ACTIVITY) Of five children. [00:18:50.14](ACTIVITY) We never hurt anyone. [00:18:53.09](ACTIVITY) Why are we killed like this? [00:18:58.19](ACTIVITY) My God ... We've done nothing wrong. [00:19:03.13](ACTIVITY) God, why did she have to die? [00:19:22.10](ACTIVITY) I heard shouting and gunshots. [00:19:24.24](ACTIVITY) Bullets flying around. [00:19:26.18](ACTIVITY) A lot of gunshots. [00:19:29.02](ACTIVITY) I went outside to see what was happening. [00:19:32.03](ACTIVITY) I went out to look. [00:19:33.07](ACTIVITY) I saw people running. [00:19:34.19](ACTIVITY) I went inside again. [00:19:36.03](ACTIVITY) I lay down on the ground. [00:19:37.08](ACTIVITY) Then I realised that the door was not locked. [00:19:41.05](ACTIVITY) I closed the door. [00:19:43.04](ACTIVITY) But the enemy heard that someone was inside. [00:19:49.05](ACTIVITY) I closed the door and went back to my room. [00:19:53.00](ACTIVITY) The enemy called the others and shouted: 'There is a cockroach in the house. He must die!' [00:20:00.07](ACTIVITY) It's not the first time. [00:20:02.10](ACTIVITY) This has happened several times before, ADF/NALUs attack us here in our neighbourhoud. [00:20:09.07](ACTIVITY) At least five times. [00:20:10.19](ACTIVITY) There are still a lot of missing people. [00:20:12.22](ACTIVITY) We really cannot understand it anymore. [00:20:15.18](ACTIVITY) We are suffering. We are hungry. [00:20:18.19](ACTIVITY) We cannot go to the field anymore. [00:20:31.18] (VO) Together with Richard I go through the affected neighbourhood. [00:20:35.06] (VO) For hours the bodies were lying in the mud. [00:20:38.24] (VO) People didn’t dare to move them without permission. [00:20:43.00] (VO) But no one passes by to give it. [00:20:48.07] (VO) There's immense desperation. [00:20:51.15](ACTIVITY) My child, my child ... [00:20:57.16](ACTIVITY) It's terrible! Before, they would never kill a pregnant woman. [00:21:08.17](ACTIVITY) They kill us for no reason. [00:21:12.08](ACTIVITY) No, no, Madam ... [00:21:15.21](ACTIVITY) Oh my God! [00:21:20.09] (VO) It quickly becomes clear to me that the army had been warned in advance by the locals. [00:21:27.14](ACTIVITY) Yesterday I went to the field. [00:21:30.06](ACTIVITY) When I returned from the field, I ran into rebels. [00:21:34.09](ACTIVITY) The rebels took me with them. [00:21:36.20](ACTIVITY) But after half a kilometer I could escape. [00:21:41.17](ACTIVITY) Immediately after I escaped, [00:21:43.11](ACTIVITY) I went to the military base. At 5:45 PM. [00:21:50.09](ACTIVITY) There, at the military base, I told them what I had seen. [00:21:55.16](ACTIVITY) They kept me there for two hours, from 6 to 8 PM. [00:21:59.08](ACTIVITY) Then they said to me: 'Go home. We'll deal with it.' [00:22:02.18](ACTIVITY) So I went home. [00:22:04.09](ACTIVITY) And look ... In the morning I was surprised. [00:22:08.17] (VO) But the attack had not been stopped. [00:22:11.19] (VO) Not by the peacekeepers nor by the army. [00:22:15.09](ACTIVITY) You have to come and see this, my sister... [00:22:18.23](ACTIVITY) What is there to see? [00:22:20.05](ACTIVITY) An ADF/NALU rebel. [00:22:23.06] (VO) In the afternoon the soldiers came to show off a so-called rebel they had supposedly manage to catch. [00:22:40.09] (VO) The young woman was thrown at people's feet, left behind as prey. [00:22:45.09] (VO) Proudly, they took a picture and left the body behind, [00:22:49.24] (VO) only to be torn to shreds by a traumatised population. [00:23:21.14] (VO) The word "cockroaches" has haunted my mind for days. [00:23:26.23] (VO) During the Rwandan genocide all the “cockroaches” had to be exterminated too. [00:23:36.20] (VO) Today, 20 years later, the horror continues here. [00:23:36.18](ACTIVITY) What can we do? [00:23:37.22](ACTIVITY) Who can we cry with? [00:23:39.19](ACTIVITY) Who can we complain to? [00:23:41.15](ACTIVITY) Do you want to go out there and say something is wrong? [00:23:44.02](ACTIVITY) To who can we go with this? [00:23:46.16](ACTIVITY) We ask the government for security in the region, so we can do our job in peace. [00:23:51.21](ACTIVITY) Here everyone lives in fear. Life is very hard. [00:23:57.02](ACTIVITY) There should be more unity. [00:23:58.23](ACTIVITY) We must bring everyone together again. [00:24:00.23](ACTIVITY) That’s the only way we can ensure that our children will grow up in peace. [00:24:05.23](ACTIVITY) We must stay united, [00:24:07.16](ACTIVITY) equal, like in a family ... [00:24:12.02](ACTIVITY) Nobody should think he or she is better or more important than the other. [00:24:23.19] (VO) BeniFiles.com is a place to show the world what is happening in Beni [00:24:29.21] (VO) and who the real the victims are. [00:24:37.04] (VO) After the recording of these interviews, at least 15 attacks took place, [00:24:42.12] (VO) including an attack on the town of Beni itself, [00:24:45.16] (VO) causing more than 50 deaths. [00:24:49.10] (VO) As long as the attacks continue, [00:24:51.17] (VO) Beni Files remains unfinished. [00:25:01.05] (TITEL) benifiles.com [00:25:02.05] (TITEL) A documentary by Elien Spillebeen & Martijn D'haene [00:25:04.00] (TITEL) A documentary by Mama Kivu & Het Peloton [00:25:05.14] (TITEL) With the support of journalismfund.eu, the Belgian Directorate General for Development Cooperation, 11.11.11, FreePressUnlimited, Vredeseilanden and V.I.F.F. [00:25:07.15] (TITEL) ⓒ2017 Het Peloton
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