Mass killings have continued in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in spite of the declaration of a state of siege in the two eastern DR Congo provinces on May 6, 2021.
“In spite of the multiple extensions of the state of siege and the combination of forces between the DR Congo national army, FARDC, and the Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), at least 79 Congolese civilians were massacred between March 12 and 14, 2022 in several localities in Irumu territory of Ituri province and Beni in North Kivu,” Jean-Baptiste Muhindo Kasekwa, a national parliamentarian for Goma constituency told Defense Minister, Gilbert Kabanda during oral questions in the national assembly on Wednesday, March 16.
“Images relayed through social media showing corpses tied in bags and being transported on motorcycles from the scenes of massacres to the mortuary in Oicha hospital situated in Beni and to Beni-Ville have profoundly irritated and shocked the national conscience on this subject,” the lawmaker said.
He disclosed that since the declaration of the state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu on May 6, 2021, “at least 2,068 Congolese civilians have been killed within 311 days, which is an average of about seven civilians killed per day”.
“As concerns the period since the joint military operations began (Nov. 30, 2021) there have been at least 383 civilians killed in 104 days, which is an average of about four civilians killed per day,” he added.
During the 44th meeting of the council of ministers, Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde had reminded the government ministers of the necessity to follow the different recommendations formulated by parliament and accord particular attention to issues linked to the state of siege in the Ituri and North Kivu provinces.
The eastern DR Congo has been facing increasing insecurity for the past 20 years and to curb or completely eliminate the security problems, President Felix Tshisekedi on May 6, 2021 declared a state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu.
In November last year, the DR Congo government opted for joint military operations by the FARDC and the Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) to combat Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who have been wreaking havoc in the eastern DR Congo.
In spite of the extreme measures, the massacre of civilians continues unabated, giving rise to calls by the populations for the stage of siege to be lifted.
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