DRC: Deep concern over prolonged siege in North Kivu, Ituri provinces

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By Rédaction Africanews

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the state of siege was extended for the fourth time on Friday, July 17 by the national assembly.

A member of parliament from North Kivu province cited several reasons for the abolition of the state of siege in the justice sector.

Jean-Paul Paluku Ngahangondi, a provincial lawmaker elected from Lubero, believes that the state of siege should be applied to other facets of life and not to justice in the two provinces concerned.

“The first reason is that the state of siege was decreed to solve security problems, not judicial ones. The second reason is that the military justice system is overwhelmed. Thirdly, there is a lack of military magistrates and judges at the prosecutoral level. The fourth reason is that justice must not be confused. We fear that the state of siege will be long and that the treasury will be mismanaged’’, Paluku Ngahangondi said.

During his recent visit to the city of Goma, President Felix Tshisekedi had affirmed that there is a positive evolution regarding the state of siege in the two provinces.

For the Congolese head of state, it is necessary to wait to judge this measure by his government.

“It was necessary to evaluate the state of siege in North Kivu and Ituri. But overall there is satisfaction”, he said.

Some inhabitants of Goma are convinced that there has been no positive change since the proclamation of the state of siege in North Kivu. But some have hope for change in the future.

”Problems have become a habit even if we are gradually hoping for good results. In our region, before there was a problem of tribalism and with this state of siege we aspire to find solution to these problems”, said Goma resident Akili Matata Secoper.

Of the 339 MPs who took part in the vote, 337 voted for the extension of the state of siege in North Kivu, Ituri and 2 others abstained.