The Fight for Change (LUCHA) civic group called for a series of demonstrations to be held in Beni (North Kivu province) on Monday, September 14, to denounce insecurity in the region. Disruption to overland travel and business services has been reported in the city. Reports indicate that protesters erected barricades on several avenues and streets, including around the Matonge shopping center, at the entrance to the Ntoni district, and on certain avenues of Tamende-Kati in Mulekera, as well as other suburbs of the city. Shops in the Matonge shopping center and several other neighborhoods closed and traffic was disrupted.
A heightened security presence is likely in the vicinity of all protests. Related protests are likely in the near and medium-term in Beni.
The government's limited presence in the DRC's eastern provinces, as well as the presence of numerous armed groups and local self-defense militias, has led to continued insecurity in the area.
According to local civil society activists, more than 200 civilians have been killed in almost daily attacks suspected to have been carried out by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants in North Kivu since early November 2019, when security operations began to combat ADF fighters. The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. There has been local and international speculation regarding potential links between ADF rebels and Islamic State (IS) militants.
Related protests have been held regularly in Butembo, Beni, and Goma to denounce the recent attacks. The demonstrations often turn violent with clashes reported between protesters and security personnel.
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 local authorities and their home governments.
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