Now after two days of Demonstrations in Beni and also demonstrations in Butembo in the Province of the North Kivu. This is happening as the ADF/ADF-NALU is causing more casualties, more fatalities, as the citizens doesn’t feel secured by the army nor the peacekeepers (MONUSCO). All of this in a region and a province that has been battling militias for two decades. There been several of militias in the region supported by foreigners in Rwanda and Uganda. These been supported with reinforcement, with ammunition and training across the borders.
Therefore, the reality of North Kivu province is dire. Not like the peacekeepers nor the army has any control. The numbers over the last two years are tragic. So many innocent lives taken by the means of insurgents and lack of responsibility from the powers in Kinshasa. There is a lack of will, to support and be there for the civilians in North Kivu. If the army and the Republic cared, they would have tackled this head-on. As this is years and years on end.
The numbers of killings reported by UN Experts on the DRC in June 2019. The UN reports reported there was 78 killed in 2018 in the Beni region, by April 2019 there was reports of 121. This means the UN has registered 199 deaths in between 2018 to April 2019. That is 16 months and that 16 people a month on the regular. This being both killings of MONUSCO Peacekeepers, FARDC soldiers and also civilians. Therefore, this is a lot of casualties in just one region.
I don’t have verified numbers between April and November 2019. Which means there is most likely more casualties and more fatalities, which isn’t recorded or been reported en-mass. That would have shown the whole picture. So, I will end on the recent month, this November, but the UN Experts Report and this shows the amounts of killings and systematic it is. If we would for argument sake, say that the fatalities continued in the same fashion as it has been from January 2018 to April 2019. With 16 per month and it continued up to November 2019. That means There is another 128 more fatalities, but my reckoning that’s just mere speculation. As I don’t have any numbers in the time between April and November.
Well, with that being said, November 2019 has been bloody too. There is report of a total of 69 dead after skirmishes of ADF in the Beni region. Beni is burning and steadily so. The FARDC and MONUSCO isn’t able to beat the ADF/ADF-NALU.
Skirmishes from ADF this November:
“Since 30 October 2019, the Congolese government has launched military operations in North Kivu, in the Beni territory, with the aim of neutralizing the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one of the deadliest armed groups in eastern DRC, which emerged from an Islamist rebellion of Ugandan origin. Since then, ADF attacks have been ongoing on the outskirts of the city of Beni. The attacks target the Congolese armed forces but also civilians, with multiple brutal killings. On 5 November, ten civilians including six women, were killed in an attack in Kokola. This first mass killing has been followed by many other abuses (murders, kidnappings, house fires, looting, etc.) on a daily basis since 15 November 2019. Some AFD attacks against the Congolese forces are claimed by Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP)” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘DRC – Rapid and intense deterioration of the humanitarian situation in North Kivu, Beni (UN, DG ECHO)’ 20.11.2019).
There is a silent war going on. It is not causing a stir, not making headlines or shaking the heads of state. Not even making President Felix Tshisekedi, neither gets actions of Vital Kamerhe or Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba. The FCC-CACH is more involved in eating and looting, than governing apparently. Since, they are not acting upon this nor creating the space to create peace in North Kivu. They are not even trying and there is a lack of will.
This silent war got to stop, but there is no signs of it. Since, it seems like the merchants of deaths continue to roam this region and the allegiance to illegal activity counters the possibility for a peaceful development. Peace.