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World DR Congo military takes charge in regions under 'state of siege'

01:20  04 may  2021
01:20  04 may  2021 Source:   afp.com

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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". On Thursday, President Felix Tshisekedi said he 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. Teargas and whips.

The DR Congo is currently facing a variety of different rebel and militant groups operating in the eastern part of the country. The Association for the Development of Congo (CODECO) operates in the province of Ituri with its armed forces composed of representatives of the Lendu people. The violent conflict between the agricultural Lendu and pastoralist Hema ethnic groups in Ituri over the scarcity of land has been going on for decades. The regions are also dominated by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist group which occasionally attacks local residents.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's presidency on Monday ordered military and police officers to take over civil authorities in two regions that have been declared under a "state of siege".

a person riding a bike down a dirt road: Instability has persisted in eastern DR Congo since the wars beween 1996-2003 © Alexis Huguet Instability has persisted in eastern DR Congo since the wars beween 1996-2003

North-Kivu and Ituri -- both eastern provinces where dozens of armed groups operate and civilians have been subject to horrifying massacres -- were declared under siege on Friday.

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

Congo declares state of siege over eastern bloodshed

  Congo declares state of siege over eastern bloodshed Congo declares state of siege over eastern bloodshedBENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Friday declared a state of siege over the worsening violence in the eastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu that has killed hundreds this year and displaced more than 1.5 million.

The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a " state of siege " late Friday in two provinces in the east of the country wracked by violence from armed groups and civilian massacres. " Taking into account the gravity of the situation the president informed the cabinet of his 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 are Ugandan Islamist fighters who have made their base in eastern DRC since 1995. Branded a jihadist organisation by Tshisekedi and the United States , the

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”. On Thursday, President Felix Tshisekedi said he was preparing 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.

In an address broadcast on public television on Monday, President Felix Tshisekedi said he had heard "the cries of distress of our population, and felt the pain that our mothers, sisters and daughters are suffering in these provinces ravaged by barbarity".

His spokesman Tharsice Kasongo Mwema confirmed that the two provinces would be declared under siege for 30 days starting on Thursday, May 6.

"To respond to the situation during the state of siege, the provincial governments of Ituri and North Kivu, and the entities of these provinces, will be replaced by offices of the armed forces of the DRC or the national police," he said.

"The action of the civil jurisdictions will be substituted by those of military jurisdictions" until "the reestablishment of the peace", he added.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo 's move to impose a " state of siege " on two violence-wracked eastern provinces brought praise on Saturday from local leaders but also sparked concern in a country where the army faces allegations of rights abuses. The Congolese Association for Access to Justice also said it welcomed the move but called on parliament urgently to pass legislation to "prevent abuses" which might stem from the imposition of a siege . The country's prime minister had Monday suggested declaring a state of emergency involving "replacing the civil administration with a military

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi declares a ‘ state of siege ’ in violence-hit eastern provinces in light of a surge in attacks in recent months. He did not say what steps would be taken next under the state of siege . Kambale Musavali, an analyst at Centre for Research on the Congo -Kinshasa, said it looked increasingly likely the government would send in more troops to the two affected regions , where government troops and United Nations peacekeepers have struggled to contain the violence.

The announcement of a state of siege has been welcomed by North-Kivu governor Carly Kasivita, who said he had repeatedly urged a "national mobilisation" to deal with attacks in the province's Beni region.

However, some observers have expressed alarm at the idea of replacing civil authorities with military ones, warning it could lead to abuses of power.

Mineral-rich North and South-Kivu, which lie along the DRC's eastern borders with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, descended into violence during the country's two wars between 1996 and 2003, and have never regained stability.

Ituri, further to the north, has also been rocked by violence since late 2017 after 15 years of relative calm.

The Kivu Security Tracker, a monitoring group, estimates that 122 different armed groups of varying sizes are active in the eastern DRC.

The Allied Democratic Forces, a group of Ugandan Islamist fighters based in eastern DRC since 1995, are blamed for many of the massacres.

The ADF -- which the US brands a "terrorist" organisation" affiliated to Islamic State group -- have been accused of murdering more than 1,000 civilians since November 2019 in Beni alone.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!