Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels launched an attack on Oicha (North Kivu province), some 30 km (19 mi) north of Beni, killing at least one person and kidnapping 17 others, according to local sources on Tuesday, September 25. Most schools and stores in the area have been closed due to the violence. Additional ADF attacks are possible in the Beni region (North Kivu province) in the coming weeks.
Residents in Beni (North Kivu province) held a "dead city" protest (total strike) on September 24 to mourn the 18 people killed during a September 22 attack attributed to the ADF rebel group. Civil society organizations have called for a prolonged mourning period and further such protests to be held until September 28. They also called for local civilian and military authorities to be dismissed as well as the suspension of all NGO activities, including those aimed at countering an Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the area which has left nearly 100 people dead as of late September.
The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. Notably, the group is suspected of having carried out an attack on UN peacekeepers in Beni territory (North Kivu province) in December 2017, killing at least 15 peacekeepers and wounding some 53 others. In general, the Congolese government's limited presence in the eastern provinces, including North Kivu, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups (such as the ADF) and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias) have led to continued insecurity in the area.
Individuals in North Kivu 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.