UN warns of worsening security in east DR Congo

FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) soldiers and peacekeepers of the The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) escort civillian vehicles on the Beni-Komanda road near Walese Vonkutu on March 19, 2022. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels "continue to commit atrocities here and there" in North Kivu and Ituri.

The security situation has deteriorated in several areas of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite military operations against armed groups, the United Nations said Thursday.

"The security situation is not improving. This cannot be hidden, it even has a tendency to deteriorate according to the area," said General Benoit Chavanat, deputy commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission for the DRC(MONUSCO).

In Ituri province, "We have CODECO in the north which has changed objectives and... for several weeks targeted camps for displaced" civilians, he noted, referring to the political-religious sect.

The general told reporters that Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) "continue to commit atrocities here and there" in North Kivu and Ituri.

The government put the two provinces under a state of siege last May in a bid to crush the rebels, who have plagued the two regions for more than 25 years.

Billed by the so-called Islamic State as its local affiliate, the ADF has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in the east.

The M23 group is also resuming direct hostile activity against the army, as well as indirectly against civilians, the general said.

In South Kivu, self-defence militias were attacking other communities around Minembwe.

Fighters from CODECO killed 14 civilians, including seven children, on Saturday in a displaced people's camp in Ituri.

The same day, four youngsters died in an ADF ambush in the Beni region.

The ADF was historically a Ugandan rebel coalition, and last November, Ugandan forces crossed the border to join a crackdown on the group with the hard-pressed Congolese army.

Despite the state of siege, the combined military operations have failed to stop the violence.