SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Democratic Republic of Congo extends state of siege in troubled provinces

State of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, was extended by the Senate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in two areas troubled by insecurity caused by armed groups.
The 11th extension will renew the state of siege for 15 days that has been in force since May 6.
The National Assembly also adopted the move on Monday, but not unanimously.
Deputies from the provinces opposed the extension and expressed in a statement a “further deterioration” of the security situation during the current state of siege.
They announced their withdrawal from any plenary related to the extension.
There is “no visible positive effect after five months of the state of siege,” according to a report by the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a joint project of the Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch.
In September, the two organizations recorded 189 killings, an increase of 19% from the previous month; 155 abductions — a 24% increase — and 91 clashes which is an increase of 34%.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since the siege took effect, according to the KST, which questioned the reasons for the extension of a measure it considers “ineffective”.
But the Civil Society of Goma appreciated the “gradual improvement” in the security situation since July thanks to actions such as military searches, according to media reports.
“However, civil society notes the persistence of several security incidents, despite the establishment of the state of siege. It believes that the result is not yet satisfactory,” said MediaCongo, a local online media outlet.
Justice Minister Rose Mutombo, who defended the state of siege, said her ultimate goal is to restore the authority of the state.