Suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants killed three people in Rwangoma district (Beni, North Kivu province) on Thursday night (local time), December 19, into Friday, December 20. Business and school activities were reportedly suspended in Beni on Friday morning following the attack. Also, on Thursday, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and its Intervention Brigade until December 20, 2020, noting that the protection of civilians remains MONUSCO's "strategic priority."
Similar ADF attacks are to be expected in North Kivu province over the near term.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, have led to continued insecurity in the area.
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 100 civilians 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.
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.