A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Beni territory of Butembo and Lubero in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, have announced they are suspending their collaboration with the United Nations forces MONUSCO.
In a declaration last weekend after an evaluation of the socio-security situation of the Grand North, including Beni, Butembo and Lubero, the CSOs accused MONUSCO of failing to protect the lives it was instituted to protect. They have thus called for the immediate withdrawal of MONUSCO troops from North Kivu.
This is connected to rising discontent over MONUSCO activities, including anti-MONUSCO protests that have led to the deaths of at least 17 people.
“The civil society calls for the withdrawal of MONUSCO from zones gripped by insecurity, specifically in North Kivu, for its inefficacy for more than 22 years. To this effect, the civil society and all its components reaffirm the suspension of their collaboration with MONUSCO,” declared the president of the Lubero civil society, Georges Katsongo, reading from a joint communique signed by the leaders of the coordinations.
The coalition criticised the deaths of protesters and 56 wounded civilians during anti-MONUSCO demonstrations in Kanyabayonga, Butembo, and Kasindi.
The civil society also called for the lifting of the state of siege measures, which according to it, “have lasted for long with their inefficacy on the ground” and pleaded for the declaration of Beni, Butembo, and Lubero as damaged zones and the organisation of adequate humanitarian assistance.
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