One year ago today, May 6, 2021, two provinces in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo were placed under a state of siege. This is to secure and put an end to the hundred armed groups that have sowed terror in the region for more than 25 years. One year after the establishment of this exceptional security regime, which gives the military full powers, the people and civil society of northern Kivu and Ituri are still waiting for the results.
With our special correspondent in Goma, Coralie Pierret
In the middle of the roundabout of the sports circle in Goma, sits a new sign: “Thank you state of siege for security”, we can read under a statue in honor of the Congolese army. If the armed groups’ capacity for harm decreases, according to the FARDC, the population has not yet celebrated on the streets great military victoriesis surprised an opponent of the siege state.
“Under the operational plan, we see nothing, because there is no offensive being carried out on the ground by our armed forces,” explains this opponent, today in exile. And one wonders why the army only plays defensively.
For a year, the military also controls civilian life in the two besieged provinces. A sometimes random management, condemns Placide Nzilamba, from civil society in northern Kivu:
“They were in great power without being prepared. The soldiers understand that this is their opportunity to do what they want, the opportunity to get rich, the opportunity to make the population more vulnerable.
Several non-governmental organizations demand that this exceptional security arrangement be lifted.
For today, the results of this security regime are also mixed: in the last 12 months, twice as many civilians were killed as in the previous 12 months. There are a total of more than 2,500 victims, says Reagan Miviri, a researcher at Ebuteli, a Congolese research institute.
Despite the state of siege “there has been no reduction in violence” and “the army has failed”, according to Reagan Miviri, a researcher at Ebuteli