The operational sector Sokola 2 Nord-Kivu accuses the M23 terrorists allied to the Rwandan army (RDF) of being responsible for serious human rights violations in the areas under their control in Rutshuru (Nord-Kivu).
In a press release, the army made particular reference to the attacks that the terrorist group carried out against armed forces positions on August 16.
He mentioned, among other things, the shrapnel of the bombs which caused casualties among the civilians. The press release also mentioned the M23 attack which targeted the site of a hydroelectric power station in Virunga Park. Also, the army indicated that the same terrorists fired on an ambulance on board which were wounded civilians.
“The language of bombs on civilian homes in Chakere in the locality of Rwanguba and Rangira, causing 5 injuries among the population. The artillery attack on the construction site of a hydroelectric power station in Virunga National Park. They also fired on the FARDC ambulance which was recovering and saving the injured civilians. Preparing other attacks against our positions, the M23 terrorists and its allies are driving the population out of this area, demanding that they too leave theit natural environment without delay,” read the document.
The army accused the M23 of a salvo of human rights violations in Rutshuru and threatens: “another attack on their positions will be suicidal”
It should be recalled that it is since June 13, 2022 that the M23 terrorists supported by Rwanda defense force (RDF) have occupied the border town of Bunagana (North Kivu). Residents living there described the “slave conditions” in which the population lives in the town and then called on the Congolese authorities to find a way out to “rescue the civilians fr the dictate of the terrorist group”.
North Kivu, 16 Aug 22. Many IDPs have fled from the areas of Rangira and Mattebe villages as a result of FARDC engaging the M23 terrorists in the areas South of Rangira and Kabindi, Rwanguba. Indian Peacekeepers present on ground provided protection to IDPs as they moved towards Rutshuru.
Tens of thousands of people are still displaced in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories.
Virunga National Park was the victim of a terrorist attack on the morning of Tuesday August 16, 2022 on the construction site of the new Rwanguba hydroelectric power station, in the Rutshuru territory, North Kivu. The attack, which involved heavy artillery fire, resulted in two explosive devices falling in the middle of the construction site which includes residential facilities for workers and construction workshops. It resulted in significant material damage, particularly to site equipment. Unfortunately, several victims died in the surrounding villages. There were no casualties among the staff members because the park authorities were able to evacuate as soon as the attack began.
Virunga National Park is at the heart of the region affected by insecurity since the resurgence of the M23 terrorism. The mountain gorilla sector, in the south-eastern part of the park, straddles Rwanda and the DRC and has been the subject of intense fighting since October 2021. On November 22, a park guard, Etienne Kanyaruchinya , was killed during a violent attack on an ICCN patrol post in Bukima by M13 terrorists.
The Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation strongly condemns the latest attack in Rwanguba. Park rangers are law enforcement officers in protected areas. Their mandate is to ensure the protection of the DRC’s natural heritage, which in the case of Virunga National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the civilian personnel who work tirelessly to implement the park’s development programs have no other objective than to participate in the construction of a future geared towards peace and prosperity for the populations of the North Kivu. The attack only strengthens their resolve to accomplish their mission.”
For 10 years, the Virunga National Park has been working to produce electrical energy as part of a strategy to enhance the park’s ecosystems. This stabilisation strategy through sustainable development promotes a green economy and job creation in North Kivu.
The park’s hydroelectric power stations on the Rutshuru River will eventually produce nearly 42MW of electricity, which will make the park the leading source of energy in eastern DRC. These plants are being built with financial support from the European Union as part of its program to fight poverty and develop North Kivu.
In 2019, an independent analysis conducted by the British research institution Cambridge Econometrics estimated that the current level of energy production has created more than 30,000 jobs in this region affected by extreme poverty. With the future Rwanguba plant, the number could rise to 100,000 jobs by 2030.
The Virunga National Park, located in the east of the DRC, covers an area of 7800 km2 which includes the volcanoes of the Virunga range in the south and Mount Rwenzori. It borders with the Parc des Volcans in Rwanda and the Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda. Created in 1925, it is the oldest natural park in Africa and has been on the list of World Heritage Sites (UNESCO) since 1979. During the past 30 years, poaching and the civil war in Congo have seriously damaged its ecosystems that are now being restored.
The park is jointly managed by the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) and its partner “Virunga Foundation”. ICCN is the government authority mandated to manage protected areas nationwide. ICCN agents ensure their protection, which, in Virunga National Park, also includes that of the protected species of mountain gorillas.
15 hostages were freed from the hands of the ADF terrorists by the Armed Forces of the DRC in the territory of Mambasa, Ituri province.
These civilians were released in the agglomeration of Lolwa on the Komanda-Mambasa road axis on the evening of Tuesday August 16, 2022.
After the attack on Lolwa by the ADF terrorists which killed 8 people. The FARDC troops pursued the attackers relentlessly. Under pressure they gave up 15 hostages who were picked up by the loyalist force. Two ADF suspects were captured and are in the hands of the security services.
Though the situation has been brought under control by the security forces, a psychosis of fear reigns in the region.
For some time now, the movement of ADF terrorists has been reported on the border between Irumu territory and Mambasa territory. A situation that has caused massive displacement of the inhabitants of the territory to other places, to be safe from insecurity.
Three radio stations were closed in the Walese Vonkutu chiefdom of Irumu territory in Ituri province, following the insecurity caused by armed men including the ADF and their allies.
Among these 3 radios, 2 are from the Bandavilemba in Otomabere and the other from Ndimo (Radio communautaire nouvelle horizon).
Since the area was targeted by armed men last year, all activities had stopped. Until this day, the region is still inaccessible. For the moment they’re thinking about the relocation of equipment.
For its part, the Convention for the Respect of Human Rights (CRDH), Irumu branch, the restoration of state authority in the area can allow these radio stations to reopen their doors and make the population aware of what’s happening in the country.
The region remains in darkness. The population is not informed of what is happening in the country. The radio plays a big role. Soon the elections of 2023, the radios facilitate awareness. There is only one radio that works in Walese Vonkutu and that with difficulty. We ask the authorities to do everything to bring peace there and this will allow the resumption of activities for the closed radios.
It should be noted that several localities in the territory of Irumu have been shaken from repeated attacks by armed men since last year, thus causing a paralysis of activities in certain sectors. Even if calls are made by the authorities to ask the rebels to lay down their arms, acts of incivility are committed by the latter, particularly in the territories of Irumu, Djugu, and currently in Mambasa.
Meanwhile, Four ADF terrorists captured by the army in Malibongo in the Boga region south of Irumu, were presented to the military governor of Ituri, Lieutenant-General Luboya N’kashama Johnny, on Wednesday August 17, 2022.
According to Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, spokesperson for the army in Ituri, who introduced them, these rebels were captured during an army counter-attack in the Malibongo and Malaya region, there a few days.
“It is deplorable to see people who become accomplices, ADF informants. These 4 ADF, among whom we have informants and supply personnel from this terrorist movement, were captured by the valiant elements of the FARDC in Malibongo around Boga” , he said during the presentation of the rebels to the governorate.
At the same time, he called on the population to denounce any suspicious person.
“In the name of the military governor and commander of operations in Ituri, we call on the population to collaborate with the armed forces to allow the definitive neutralisation of the enemies of peace in Ituri”, he said.
A few days ago, 10 other ADF were killed by the army in the same region of Boga.
A government mission will soon be dispatched to Kwamouth in the province of Mai Ndombe, where clashes between the “Teke” and “Yaka” people have been reported for several days.
The Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde announced it on Friday August 19, 2022 during the meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by the Head of State, Félix Tshisekedi, at the Cité de l’Union Africaine.
” Faced with the deterioration of the situation, he announced the dispatch of a government mission to the scene to take stock of the security and humanitarian situation with a view to taking the necessary additional measures “, indicated Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya, in the report of the Council of Ministers.
While waiting for the mission to be dispatched, the Government reiterated its solidarity with the populations affected by this violence in this part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As a reminder, 7 people were killed on August 18 during new clashes between members of the Yaka and Teke communities in Kwamouth. The incidents took place in Liduma and Miboro villages where several houses were also burned, according to civil society.
It should be noted that the cause of this conflict at the start was the disagreement on customary royalties, in particular on the amount of tribute to be paid to local authorities (Teke) by non-natives (Yaka).
The President of the National Assembly Christophe Mboso N’kodia, launched a message of peace to the population of the territory of Kwamouth in the province of Maï-Ndombe, hit by the ethnic conflict between the peoples “Teke and Yaka”.
He made this appeal on Friday August 19, 2022, during an exchange with the delegation of national deputies from the provinces of Kwango and Mai-Ndombe.
“ We met between the deputies, the caucus of Kwango deputies and the office of the National Assembly to discuss the unfortunate incidents that are taking place in Kwamouth in the province of Mai-Ndombe. The Teke and Yaka people have always lived together for centuries. It is unfortunate today to see that people are killing each other. We ask people to keep calm, abandon violence and live in peace ,” said Christophe Mboso.
The speaker of the lower house of parliament has promised to send a delegation of national elected officials for a peace mission in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“ We will send a delegation of honourable deputies there. On this occasion, the president of the caucuses and the elected officials of the area will address the population of Kwamouth and the whole of Mai-Ndombe because in Yumbi, there are also problems “, he said.
As a reminder, Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde announced at the last meeting of the Council of Ministers that a government mission will soon be dispatched to Kwamouth.