On Sunday, February 17, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) NGO announced it would suspend non-essential operations in eastern DRC. According to an MSF spokesperson, operations are being suspended due to security concerns following the kidnapping of two NGO workers in Masisi territory (North Kivu province) on February 8.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, including North Kivu, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias (Maï-Maï militias) have led to continued insecurity in the area. Humanitarian organizations have stated that security conditions in the Kivu regions present a major obstacle to delivering humanitarian assistance to those in need, as kidnappings, including of Congolese and foreign aid workers, are frequent in the area.
Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.