The killings continue in Ituri, one month after the proclamation of the state of siege by President Félix Tshisekedi. Recent cases include those recorded on the morning of 2 June, when 12 people were killed and four others wounded in a mining area in the Karani grouping, and on 31 May in Ituri, when at least 50 people were killed in the villages of Boga and Tchabi.
The results of the state of siege are not reassuring, despite some positive results, including the neutralisation of thirty Ugandan ADF rebels and the recuperation of some villages in Beni, in North Kivu. « We have now neutralised 30 ADF and arrested more than 70 collaborators. We have also had to recover five vehicles that were used for transporting supplies to the ADF, » Lieutenant Anthony Mwalushay, spokesman for the Sokola 1 Grand Nord operational sector, told Radio Okapi.
On 31 May, the administrative secretary of the Bahema-Boga chiefdom in Iruri province told local media that « at least 50 people died in a previously unclaimed attack. « This was at around 1am on Monday. Armed men, who remain unknown until now, laid siege to the Rubingo IDP camp. Here, they also set fire to seven vehicles and several shops in the centre of Boga. According to the same source, these assailants killed 20 people and abducted 10 others in the neighbouring chiefdom of Banyali-Tchabi.
After these atrocities, Lieutenant-General Jonny Luboya, the military governor of this province reacted: « There are people who think they can still humiliate us by doing what they did in Tshabi and Boga. But rest assured, it will stop, » he said, briefly, during the police presentation of the alleged armed bandits in Bunia.
« Real action on the ground seems to be missing
The killings have left a bitter taste in the public mind. In a tweet, Dr Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize 2018 condemned these acts, adding that « the perpetrators must be brought to justice to break the cycle of violence and impunity ». For the citizen movement Lutte pour le changement (LUCHA), « beyond the speeches, real actions on the ground seem to be missing one month after the declaration of the state of siege ».
« In a fortnight things will change on the ground
On the morning of 2 June, the Kivu security barometer, a research project supported by the American human rights NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Congo Study Group (CSG) of New York University, confirmed that 12 people were killed and 4 others wounded in a mining area in Ituri by militiamen of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO). In the meantime, the Congolese government has announced that all avenues will be opened for the return of peace in these two provinces. « In a fortnight things will change on the ground, » said Defence Minister Gilbert Kabanda.
Meanwhile, this Thursday, the deputies will examine the draft law on the extension of the state of siege, decreed on 6 May by President Felix Tshisekedi.