Military governor, gathering restrictions, search at any time… President Tshisekedi’s decision has brought the country to its knees.
This is one of the first measures appointed by the Congolese government in mid-April to change the alliance between the camp of current President Felix Tsisekedi and the camp of his predecessor Joseph Kabila. In order to stop the violence throughout the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the North Kivu and Ituri regions have been declared under siege.
According to a presidential decree signed by the head of state on Monday, May 3, the two provinces will be passed under military administration on May 6 (Thursday) for 30 days and will be extended by the Congress. Their governors and lieutenant governors will be suspended and replaced by police-level military governors and lieutenant governors. Civil courts will also give way to military courts.
President Tshisekedi said he was right “The Pain of Crying” In his televised speech on Monday, many residents in the eastern part of the country hoped to use this device to restore a peaceful appearance. But this bet is risky. Since the two Congolese wars (from 1996 to 1997 and then from 1998 to 2003), the eastern provinces of the country have been plagued by turmoil, and armed groups have flourished in the mineral-rich areas bordering Rwanda and Burundi with Uganda.
In 2020, there will be no less than 122 Kivu safety barometers. Among them, the ADF (Allied Forces) is an Islamic organization that is rampant in the Beni area of North Kivu and has been accused of killing more than 1,000 civilians since November. 2019.
To illustrate his desire to calm the East, President Félix Tshisekedi promised to settle in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, in the fall. This promise has not yet been fulfilled.Although the authorities regularly publish “Major Offensive” Under the leadership of the Congolese army, the situation has deteriorated in recent years. Now, attacks against civilians occur almost every day.
Faced with this endless cycle of violence, in early April again demonstrations were held in Beni and Butembo, demanding government assistance. The United Nations troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Monusco, left, often criticized for their inaction. In this case, the decision to establish a state of siege is both a response to the coup and a response to dissatisfaction. “This is in the plan of the new government, Emphasizing a person close to the presidency. A shocking gesture is needed to mark a break with the previous government. “
But the government’s response and the establishment of military management have aroused a lot of attention in the country, and it has attracted a lot of attention.The state of siege gave the military authorities extended powers: searches at any time, prohibition of circulation, and the possibility of publications and conferences “very excited” population.Military authorities have the right “Any decision” They think it is useful.
If the handover work does not go well, it is because military officers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are often accused of human rights violations: rape, assassination, massacre, illegal exploitation of resources, sales of weapons to armed groups… Every month, the United Nations Human Rights Agency monitors these abuses The office (BNUCDH) pointed the finger at the Congolese armed forces. They were responsible for 35% of these violations in February 2021 and 49% for these violations in January 2021.
The name of the new interim governor has not yet been announced. During the presidency, we promised to carry out a major cleaning “All soldiers known for their crimes will be replaced, Secure the relatives of the head of state. We have names. “ Also announced additional personnel and equipment.
“When we know the operation of the Congolese army in normal times and their own management difficulties, we are worried about the idea that they must manage the entire two provinces.”Talk to UN sources.
In the birthplace of demonstrations in North Kivu, the Lucha civic movement expressed concern that the siege would lead to lawlessness and increase the possibility of police and military errors. There is a sense of distrust among most members of civil society.
“At present, we are more worried than insurance, Rodrigue Ngasembere, an activist of the human rights organization, sighed. We hope to implement protection mechanisms to limit glitches. There is nothing to be optimistic when you see how the protests were quelled and the participants were prosecuted. “
“We are waiting for these actions. The cleanup of the army should have been completed a long time ago., A humanitarian worker who slipped and fell in Beni. This is not the first time the president has promised to eliminate armed groups. “
As far as Monusco is concerned, it has taken note of the decision and has ensured that it can still be used to help and support the authorities. The force’s special representative, Bintou Keïta, will meet with President Tshisekedi on Tuesday, May 4.