Members of the LUCHA civil society group have called for a protest to take place in Kisangani (Tshopo province) on Wednesday, October 3, to denounce the prevailing insecurity following recent attacks attributed to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in neighboring North Kivu province, as well as to demand the dismissal of the minister of defense. Protesters are expected to gather at the Parse-Espace de Martyr roundabout and march through the Canon roundabout before staging a sit-in in front of the Governorate building. A forceful dispersion of the gathering cannot be excluded.
A related sit-in protest is taking place as of October 2 in front of the MONUSCO building in Beni (North Kivu). Similar protests took place in Kananga (Kasaï Central province) and Kasindi (North Kivu) on October 1.
Further related protests are likely in the coming days and weeks.
Sit-in protests have been held throughout the country, notably in several towns of North Kivu province as well as in the capital Kinshasa, over the past week to denounce the rebel attacks in war-torn North Kivu province. Some 18 people were killed in a September 22 attack attributed to the ADF. A similar attack was carried out in Oicha (North Kivu), located some 30 km (20 mi) north of Beni, on September 25, in which at least one person was killed and 17 others kidnapped.
The ADF is a Ugandan Islamist militant group that has been active in North Kivu province since the late 1990s. The Congolese government's limited presence in the eastern provinces, including North Kivu, coupled with 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 Kisangani, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all gatherings as violence may flare up without warning, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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