DR Congo Announces ‘State of Siege’ In Two Provinces

DR Congo Announces ‘State of Siege’ In Two Provinces
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The Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday announced a ‘state of siege’ in two provinces in the east of the country wracked by violence from armed groups and civilian massacres.

Speaking yesterday, president Patrick Muyaya announced that; ‘Taking into account the gravity of the situation… the president informed the cabinet of his decision to proclaim a state of siege in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri,

He stated that details of what the measure would entail would be released publicly in the next few hours.

Under DRC’s constitution, the president can declare either a state of emergency or a state of siege “if severe circumstances immediately threaten the independence or integrity of the national territory, or if they interrupt the regular functioning of institutions”.

Read Also: DR Congo Demands $4B From Uganda As ICJ Case Begins

On Thursday, President Felix Tshisekedi said he was preparing “radical measures” to deal with the security situation in the east of the country.

That followed the prime minister suggesting on Monday that a state of emergency might be declared in the east, ‘replacing the civil administration with a military administration’.

An estimated 122 armed groups of varying sizes operate in mineral-rich eastern DRC, many a legacy of regional wars in the 1990s.

In Paris on Tuesday, Tshisekedi asked France for help “eradicating” one of them, the Allied Democratic Forces, from the Beni region in North Kivu.

The ADF militia is Ugandan Islamist fighters who have made their base in eastern DRC since 1995.

Branded a jihadist organisation by Tshisekedi and the United States, the ADF has killed more than 1,200 civilians in the Beni area alone since 2017, according to a monitor called the Kivu Security Tracker (KST).

The army has conducted operations against them in the region since October 2019, but has not been able to put a stop to the massacres of civilians.

 

AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK

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