The Democratic Republic of Congo Senate on Monday, April 18, voted to extend the state of siege in the two restive provinces of Ituri and North Kivu by 15 days.
This is the 22nd extension of the state of siege and it begins on April 21, 2022 and ends on May 5, 2022.
Of the 109 senators who make up the upper chamber of the House, 89 took part in the vote and 81 voted in favour of the extension, two voted against and six abstained.
The lower house had voted in favour of the extension on Monday, April 4, 2022. A total of 314 parliamentarians out of the 317 took part in the vote. They voted in favour of the extension while two voted against and one abstained.
During the debate and adoption of the bill, parliamentarians from Ituri and North Kivu had walked out of the House in protest against the extension of the state of siege insisting that almost a year after its imposition, no positive results have been recorded, rather the people are being subjected to repression by security forces on the pretext of enforcing the state of siege.
Mutombo Kiese Rose, the country’s Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, who defended the extension bill before the senators said “this new extension of the state of siege would enable the DR Congo forces of defense and security supported by the Ugandan Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) to consolidate the achievements of earlier operations and to pursue more vigorously with actions aimed at putting an end to the adventures of terrorists and restore security, peace and state authority in this part of the DR Congo”.
The bill which has now been adopted by the two chambers of parliament will eventually be sent to President Felix Tshisekedi to be signed into law.
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