Dozens of school students from the Ruwenzori commune protested in Beni (North Kivu province) on Tuesday, October 9, denouncing violence in their neighborhood resulting from clashes between Congolese soldiers and suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels on Monday, October 8. Protesters marched towards the town hall in Beni where they lowered flags and chanted slogans against Congolese President Joseph Kabila. Police forces reportedly dispersed the students with teargas. Similar protests and demonstrations are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Notably, on October 9, at least five people were killed in a clash between the suspected ADF fighters and Congolese soldiers in North Kivu province.
The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. Notably, the group is suspected of having carried out an attack on UN peacekeepers in Beni territory (North Kivu province) in December 2017, killing at least 15 peacekeepers and wounding some 53 others. In general, the Congolese government's limited presence in the eastern provinces, including in North Kivu, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups (such as the ADF) and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias) have led to continued insecurity in the area.
Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for violent activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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