DRC declares ‘state of siege’ in eastern provinces

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared a “state of siege” in the eastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu amid escalating violence.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi announced the decree late on Friday through government spokesman Patrick Muyaya who said the measure will aim to end insecurity in the two provinces. Violence in Ituri and North Kivu has killed more than 300 people since the start of the year and displaced many more.

‘State of siege’ announced in Ituri, North Kivu

Patrick Muyaya didn’t specify what measures the government will take in implementing the “state of siege” in Ituri and North Kivu but several analysts expect the move proceeds increased military action in the two provinces.

Violence has escalated since government troops stepped up efforts against rebel groups in eastern parts of the DRC. In response to the military campaign, rebel groups increased attacks against locals and UN facilities with hundreds of civilians being killed.

There are an estimated 122 armed groups in the east of the country with the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) believed to be responsible for much of the bloodshed this year. The armed group is blamed for killing around 850 last year in a spate of attacks since army operations began in the eastern DRC towards the end of 2019.

Featured image: “Africa CEO Forum | Kigali, 26 March 2019” flickr photo by Paul Kagame https://flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/33596221678 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.