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FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS WEEK 19 KILLED IN ISLAMIST RAID IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Region of Concern: Democratic Republic of Congo

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Amy McGee, Salomon Montaguth, and Jennifer Loy

Date: March 12, 2023


North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo[1]


Event: On March 12, suspected Islamists killed 19 people in Kirindera Village in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province. The attack occurred four days after another that killed over 40 in Mukondo, also in North Kivu Province.[2] The military believes the attackers to be from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group linked to ISIS and based in eastern DRC. Several people are presumed kidnapped, and militants set fire to a hospital, hotel, and several other houses. To decrease the violence in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, the Congolese government enforced a siege of the region in 2021, without any sign of improvement.[3]


Significance: Future attacks will likely continue to target public areas like hospitals, schools, and markets where many people gather, leading to more civilian casualties. The destruction of private and public buildings will likely affect the local economy as the reconstruction will lead to a restructuring of allocated money. The destruction of critical infrastructure will likely lead to a lack of emergency services, resulting in people seeking medical care in surrounding areas. This will likely increase pressure on neighboring local governments. The local population will likely increase their demands on the government to stop new attacks, which can lead to protests and destabilization of the government, affecting government services and the military in the region. It is also likely that local residents will resettle in other surrounding areas, such as Sud-Kivu and Manierna Provinces, due to the increased threat of violent attacks. Residents will likely also seek refuge in neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda, affecting diplomatic relations between the three countries.


Recommendations: The local government and military should coordinate the humanitarian response together with international and local organizations to ensure that information about relief gets out swiftly and organized. The military should secure the area to prevent a second attack from targeting aid organizations and the affected residents. Humanitarian organizations operating in the area, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, should supply the affected people with temporary housing, blankets, and food. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees should prepare for increased refugees from the North Kivu province to surrounding areas, such as Rwanda and Uganda. The local government should work with the Rwanda and Uganda governments to monitor the refugee situation and provide economic assistance as needed. Health organizations such as Doctors without Borders should cooperate with local and regional health officials to ensure hospital and emergency services return to normal. Additional psychological support, like counseling, should be given to the people who survived the attacks and those affected by the kidnappings.

 

[2] Beni: 19 people killed during an ADF incursion into Kirindera village, Radio Okapi, March 2023, https://www.radiookapi.net/2023/03/12/actualite/securite/beni-19-personnes-tuees-lors-dune-incursion-des-adf-au-village (Translated by Google)

[3] Suspected Islamist militants kill 19 in another village raid in east Congo, Reuters, March 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/suspected-islamist-militants-kill-19-another-village-raid-east-congo-2023-03-12/

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