On Friday, August 17, a military spokesperson announced that the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) had launched military operations against rebel groups in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. According to local sources, the FARDC recaptured several villages near Lubero, killing at least ten members of a rebel militia. Further military operations are to be anticipated in in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the coming days. Clashes between security forces and rebel groups are likely.
Numerous armed groups are active across the DRC, including ethnic self-defense militias. Violent clashes between these groups and government forces, as well as between rival groups, are common. The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed actors and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias), have driven continued insecurity in the area.
A number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country due to poor security conditions, including the presence of armed groups and a high risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice should be sought prior to travel.
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