In an ordinance read to the RTNC (Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise) on Monday, May 3, 2021, the Head of State Félix Tshisekedi, who declared a state of siege in North Kivu and Ituri, will replace the governors and vice governors of civilians with military and police. This state of siege proclaimed by in these two provinces is for 30 days and begins on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

During this period of the state of siege, this ordinance specifies that: “the civil authorities of the provincial governments of Ituri and North Kivu, those of the decentralized and deconcentrated entities of the said provinces will be replaced by officers of the armed forces, FARDC and / or the Congolese National Police (PNC) designated for this purpose ”.

And to continue that: “the action of the civil courts will be replaced by that of the military courts”; but the following fundamental rights and principles will not be derogated from:

– The right to life;

– The prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

– The prohibition of slavery and servitude;

– The principle of the legality of offenses and penalties;

– The right of defense and the right of appeal;

– The prohibition of imprisonment for debt;

– Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The same source points out that during this period, provincial assemblies and provincial governments will also be suspended; nevertheless, members of these two provincial institutions will continue to enjoy their benefits.

However, immunities and other privileges do not apply during the state of siege in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

The army spokesman revealed this Tuesday, May 04, 2021, the 4 levels where the work will be carried out regarding the state of siege proclaimed by the President of the Republic Felix Tshisekedi in the provinces of Ituri and of North Kivu.

State of siege

State of siege

It was during a press conference held at Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) in Kinshasa, together with Patrick Muyaya, Minister of Communication and Media, and Colonel Pierrot Mwana-Mputu, Police spokesperson, Congolese National  Police(PNC).

According to Léon-Richard Kasongo, these are the levels:

– Politico strategic;

– Strategic;

– Cooperative;

– And Tactical.

As a reminder, the state of siege was declared in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu last Monday by the Head of State for a period of 30 days, in order to end insecurity. in these provinces.

One consequence of this decision is the replacement of civilian authorities by military or police officers, in order to overcome the insecurity in these corners of the country, where both local and foreign armed groups are rife.

The situation remains tense on Tuesday 04 May 2021 in the commune of Mangina, located 30 kilometres from the city of Beni in the territory bearing the same name in the province of North Kivu.

At the base, an incursion of the ADF rebels in the said region precisely in the Masimbembe district, in the morning hours. Ten houses were set on fire, including two health structures.

There was an incursion of the ADF rebels into our entity. They attacked the FARDC position located in the aforementioned neighbourhood. Here, the FARDC elements clashed against them, which made it possible to stop their progress towards the centre. Unfortunately, in their flight, they committed material damage, in particular by setting fire to a dozen houses including two health structures, a health centre and a dispensary, as well as looted several cattle.

The inhabitants have fled the commune and moved, to outskirts of Beni town fearing the reprisals of the attackers”.

This authority deplores, however, the behaviour of motorcycle taxi riders in the region by propagating false information.

“We are against the behaviour that these taximen display. They increase the tension in the town by conveying false messages, also by calling on the inhabitants to leave the region, that is to play the enemy’s game”. Said an official(name protected)

Columns of displaced people were visible all day on the Beni-Mangina road, towards the city of Beni.

Meanwhile, 8 alleged Mai-Mai militiamen captured in the city of Beni were presented by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) to the press on Tuesday, May 04, 2021.

This is a Mayi-Mayi group, according to the military spokesperson for the Grand-Nord operational sector, led by Commander Kakule David that was planning an attack on Mavivi airport.

“These people you see, there are from the group called Union fait la Force with their headquarters in Mukulya in Beu commune, Beni town. They sent two envoys to Mavivi airport here recently to plan attacks. They revealed to have carried out their activities in the region of Beni. All are young from here and there are no foreigners … “, said Lieutenant Antony Mualushayi.

State of siegeThese militiamen were provided with the traditional herbs which they considered as protection. According to the same source, these militiamen will be transferred to the competent authorities in order to be judged.

The bishop of the diocese of Inongo, Monsignor Donatien Bafwidinsoni, warns of the upsurge in tribal tensions in the capital of Mai-Ndombe, likely to revive the events of December 2018 in the territory of Yumbi.

The Catholic prelate made it known in a statement made on Monday, May 3, 2021 in Inongo focusing on the state of play of the province since the dismemberment.

“Lately, there has been a climate of tension and division at all levels in Inongo, fuelled by political actors in search of positioning, popularity or in need of excessive ambition who are turning into megalomania. This situation can explode at any time and get out of hand. And yet, we still have fresh memories of the sad events of Yumbi in December 2018 which should serve as a lesson to us, ”said Donatien Bafwidinsoni, Bishop of Inongo.

And to continue: “Aware of our role as pastor, we sound the alarm bell by calling out the daughters and sons of Maï-Ndombe each at their level of responsibility for a profound change in the way of managing this province if such is the case. alleged motivation of each other’s speeches. We urge the population to remain united and vigilant to face the inclinations of divisions in the province ”.

This Bishop of Inongo called on the youth not to give in to demagogic and populist speeches.

“Get trained and learn about the real issues in our province. That the political actors, consider the young people at their fair value and help them to contribute effectively to the construction of the province […] We cannot therefore buy them at a low price of small fry or a bottle of beer. We beg you to refrain from exciting them with false promises for destructive and fruitless actions, ”he added.

As a reminder, in December 2018, hundreds of people were shot dead for some, and beheaded or burned alive for others following an intercommunal conflict between the Banunu and the Batende in Yumbi territory, in the province of Mai-Ndombe. 

Joram Jojo