Protests to denounce the perceived failure of the UN peacekeeping force to protect civilians from recent rebel attacks in the eastern North Kivu province are ongoing in front of the UN headquarters in Kinshasa, as well as in Goma, and Beni (North Kivu) as of Friday, November 29. Roadblocks have reportedly been erected in Goma and Beni, where police is using tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowds.
A heightened security presence, along with business and transportation disruptions are likely in the abovementionned cities. related protests are to be expected over the near term. Further clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
At least 19 people were killed by suspected militants overnight between Tuesday, November 26, and Wednesday, November 27, in the town of Oicha (North Kivu province), near Beni. The assailants are believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.
According to local civil society activists, around 94 people have been killed in almost daily attacks, suspected to have been carried out by ADF militants in North Kivu since early November, when security operations began to combat ADF fighters. The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. There has been local and international speculation regarding potential links between ADF rebels and Islamic State (IS) militants. According to local civil society activists, more than 1500 people have been killed by ADF rebels in and around Beni in the past four years.
Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.