On Wednesday, December 4, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) NGO announced the withdrawal of its non-local staff located in Biakoto (Ituri province), following attacks at their medical facilities overnight on Tuesday, December 3.
A heightened security presence is expected in Ituri province over the near term. Further targeted attacks against medical centers cannot be ruled out.
On November 28, four people were killed and several others were injured in two simultaneous attacks targeting Ebola response centers in Mangina (North Kivu) and Byakoto (Ituri).
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, including North Kivu, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias) have led to continued insecurity in the area. Humanitarian organizations have stated that security conditions in the Kivu regions present a major obstacle to delivering humanitarian assistance to those in need, as kidnappings, including of Congolese and foreign aid workers, are frequent in the area.
Individuals in Ituri province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.