President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has signed a decree extending the state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces by 15 days effective from Feb. 4 to 19, 2022.
The extension follows the recent adoption of the project for the extension of the state of siege in the two provinces during the 38th Council of Ministers meeting.
According to the government, this new extension aims at consolidating on the gains recorded during previous operations and to continue with more serious actions with a view to putting an end to terrorism and restore the authority of the state.
The bill to extend the state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces signed on Friday, Feb. 4 had to be adopted by the Council of Ministers instead of parliament because before going on recess in Sept. 2021, the National Assembly had authorised the Council of Ministers to legislate on its behalf in certain matters up till March 2022.
Among the matters concerned was the extension of the state of siege and the authorisation of certain loan accords to be signed by the government.
The state of siege, which is an exceptional measure, has been in force in Ituri and North Kivu provinces since May 6, 2021.
While the government holds that the state of siege should continue, other political circles want it lifted because the massacre of civilian populations by armed groups has continued while the exceptional measure remains in force.
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