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DR Congo Parliament To Decide On Extension Of State Of Siege In Ituri And North Kivu

If the state of siege is approved, it will be the sixth extension for the troubled regions in DR Congo.

The National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo will be meeting in plenary session Tuesday, Aug. 17, to vote on the government’s proposal for the extension of the state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

If the proposal is approved by parliament, it would be the sixth time the state of siege in the restive DR Congo eastern provinces is prolonged since its declaration by President Felix Tshisekedi on May 6, 2021.

Before the fifth extension of the state of siege, national parliamentarians had demanded a mid-term evaluation of the situation in the two provinces affected by the exceptional measure.

The National Assembly’s Defense and Security Commission has before today’s vote been holding closed-door sessions during which several members of government were grilled on the handling of the state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu.

Top government officials quizzed included the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Daniel Aselo Okito who was represented by his assistant, the Minister of Justice Rose Mutombo and the Minister of Defense Gilbert Kabanda.

The Army Chief of Staff, General Gabriel Amisi Kumba and the governors of the two provinces under the state of siege, Ituri and North Kivu, were also grilled by the Defense and Security Commission of the National Assembly.

As Monday evening, the report of the conclusions of the commission was yet to be deposited at the Bureau of the National Assembly for discussion during the plenary session today.

The report has to be approved by the plenary session of the National Assembly and the recommendations therefrom would enable parliament to outline a new orientation to the state of siege in vigour in the two provinces.

The state of siege is intended to curb or completely eliminate recurrent rebel activities in the two provinces of the Eastern DR Congo which have been the bedrock of atrocities against the civilian populations by the various armed groups in the DR Congo.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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