In the DRC, the citizen movement Lucha calls for the lifting of the state of siege in the east of the country

The Congolese citizen movement Lucha (Fight for Change) demanded, Thursday, August 12, the lifting of the state of siege in force for three months in two provinces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which according to causes him to intensify violence and human rights abuses.

This exceptional measure, by which the civil administration was replaced by the army, was introduced in early May by the government in North Kivu and Ituri in an attempt to put an end to the abuses by armed groups which terrorize the population. for over twenty-five years.

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Three months later, “The violence coming from armed groups and elements of the army has intensified, the rights of citizens are increasingly trampled on and the local administration is completely at a standstill”, said Lucha in a statement to the press in Goma. According to the organization, 533 people were killed in three months in the two provinces, “Or an average of six civilians killed per day”.

Kenyan peacekeepers

Noting the failure of this measure, Lucha calls on the authorities to lift the state of siege or, failing that or pending, to “Completely demilitarize public administrations”, “Reestablish civil courts” or “To discard” the military “Suspected of serious human rights violations, collusion with armed groups or various trafficking”.

The movement finally announces its intention to launch peaceful protests across the country from next week, “In order to demand a more appropriate state response to the security situation in eastern DRC, which continues to deteriorate”. Consultations are currently being carried out in committee by the Congolese National Assembly to assess this state of siege measure.

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While the population criticizes the Congolese army for not doing enough to put an end to the abuses of armed groups, Kenyan peacekeepers arrived earlier this week in Beni (North Kivu), where a Rapid Intervention Brigade (FIB) has been deployed since 2013 as part of MONUSCO, the UN mission in the DRC.

In order to “Increase the presence on the ground for the protection of populations”, it was decided to strengthen the FIB with four “Organic rapid intervention units”, reminds AFP his spokesperson, Major Ari Foukory. The Tanzanian unit arrived a few months ago, the Kenyan took up her quarters on Monday and Nepalese and South African units are expected shortly, he added, without specifying the number of men concerned.

The World with AFP