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26 Nov 2019 | 02:25 PM UTC

DRC: Two killed in Beni amid ongoing protests November 26 /update 2

Two protesters killed in Beni on November 26 as residents denounce rising insecurity; heightened security presence expected over the near term

security
COD

Event

At least two people were killed after protesters targeted UN facilities in Beni (North Kivu province) for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, November 26. Protests have erupted in recent days over the failure of the UN peacekeeping force to protect civilians from rebel attacks. Clashes between security forces and protesters reportedly occurred throughout the day as demonstrators marched toward a UN base located at Beni Airport (BNC). The unrest continued into Tuesday evening (local time) as crowds defied a curfew.

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

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.