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25 Nov 2019 | 08:23 AM UTC

DRC: Violent protest reported in Beni November 25 /update 1

Residents in Beni violently protest to denounce rising insecurity in the area November 25

security
COD

Event

Residents in Beni (North Kivu) set fire to the town hall in the morning (local time) on Monday, November 25, amid protests to denounce a recent spate of attacks in the area allegedly carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Protesters then headed towards UN camps located on the outskirts of the city before being dispersed by security forces who fired shots into the air. The protest erupted after suspected ADF militants killed eight people overnight November 24-25 in the area.

Similar militant attacks are likely in North Kivu province in the near term, as an ongoing military offensive against militia groups in the area is expected to continue. Related protests are also possible.

Context

A similar protest was held in Beni on November 23, leading to the death of one protester and two policemen.

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, at least 70 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.

Advice

Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor situational developments, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.