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02 Dec 2019 | 07:19 AM UTC

DRC: Violent protests reported in Beni December 2 /update 4

Deadly protest reported in Beni to denounce UN presence December 2; related protests possible

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COD

Event

At least two people were reportedly killed in Beni (North Kivu) as of Monday, December 2, amid ongoing protests to denounce the perceived failure of the UN peacekeeping force to protect civilians from recent rebel attacks in the eastern North Kivu province. A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are likely over the coming hours.

On a related note, the LUCHA civil society group has called for "dead city" protests (i.e. stay at home protests) to take place in Butembo (North Kivu) on Monday, December 2, and Tuesday, December 3. As such, disruptions to daily activities (business and administration closures, transportation disruptions) are likely in Butembo in the coming days.

Related protests cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence is likely around any demonstration. Further clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

According to local civil society activists, around 100 people have been killed in almost daily attacks, suspected to have been carried out by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants in North Kivu since early November, when security operations began to combat ADF fighters. 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 1500 people have been killed by ADF rebels in and around Beni in the past four years.

Related violent protests have been held on an almost daily basis in Butembo, Beni, and Goma to denounce the recent attacks. 

Advice

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.