For years now, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been living in a cycle of armed attacks attributed to organized armed groups (OAG) as they have continuously foiled plans to regain the state of peace. The President, Felix Tshisekedi on Thursday, 6 July 2021 imposed a state of siege in the North Kivu and Ituri province. Nonetheless, OAG activities in these provinces have significantly affected the peace process. The declaration of a state of siege transfers power from civil authorities to the army, which takes control over a city or province. In the event of a serious threat to the nation’s territorial integrity or to its existence, its independence or institutions, the President of the Republic may declare a state of siege by decree and take any measures as he may deem necessary.

However, government security operations recorded significant feats in various provinces in the country which include the arrest of twenty Burundian locals and eight Congolese suspected kidnappers responsible for the kidnapping of children in the town of Uvira in the northern part of South Kivu province. Also, The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo destroyed five strongholds of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) fighters at Irumu territory, Ituri province on Monday, 5 July 2021. These rebel hideouts, namely Masangalo, Mugulumugulu, Belu 2, Mount Aina and Zunguluka, are located on the eastside of national road number 4 (Komanda-Beni axis) where armed attacks were planned.

These operations continued on the ground as the commander of the army’s operational sector in Ituri, General Kasongo Maloba Robert, set up an operational office headquarters in the area for the coordination of operations. OAG operations on the other hand were not paused as Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have continuously carried out recurrent attacks. Additionally, an armed attack that targeted the locality of Kalunguta, on the Butembo-Beni road, North Kivu province was also recorded All these have created a sense of panic and anxiety among the provinces, as well as a lack of confidence in security forces given the high expectations of improved security conditions following the new measures. These recent attacks have forced thousands of people to flee their homes to seek safety in the eastern part of Beni, and are continuing to weaken and disrupt social, economic and educational activities.

LOOKING INTO NUMBERS

                                                                              Killings in North Kivu

In the past two years in the province of North Kivu alone, over two million people have been displaced by insecurity and violence. In 2020 more than 100,000 refugees and approximately 14,000 individuals so far in 2021 had been helped with emergency shelters.

Unfortunately, needs remain high as armed conflict in the province continues to displace people, with many forced to leave several times.

Insurgent assaults are no longer confined to rural areas; they are prevalent everywhere, having varying consequences on different sectors of the population. Although many measures have been attempted to achieve a negotiated political solution with some of the groups, the State’s primary response has been military repression, as seen by the state of siege action.