AFRICA/DR CONGO - Attack on a convoy of civilians in the east of the country by alleged members of the Islamic State

Friday, 3 September 2021 terrorism   civil society  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The Islamists of DAECH-DRC ambushed 14 cars and 2 large trucks on the morning of September 1 around 10 am local time, in Ofaye, on the Komanda-Eringeti road (RN4) in the Territory of Irumu". This was reported to Fides by the Congolese NGO CEPADHO, specifying that the convoy of vehicles from Bunia and Komanda (Ituri province) was heading to Beni-Butembo (North Kivu province). "According to our sources, during the attack, in addition to the looting and burning of 16 vehicles, at least 4 civilians were killed on the spot and another 80 are missing. The attackers reportedly took advantage of bad road conditions to block the convoy of about 100 vehicles escorted by soldiers from the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and UN peacekeepers from MONUSCO (UN Mission in the DRC)", the statement sent to Fides reported.
According to the FARDC, 60 civilians initially reported missing were recovered by the military. However, 20 people are still missing.
CEPADHO believes that "the attack is not accidental because we know that it took place the day after the 7th extension of the state of siege by the National Assembly. In fact, it is a well-planned act both to sabotage the state of siege and to sow distrust among the population and the authorities", the text underlines. On May 6, the state of siege entered into force in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, proclaimed on May 3 by President Félix Tshisekedi (see Fides, 7/5/2021).
In the order, the Head of State appointed a military governor and a deputy police governor who will assume the powers of the civil authorities for a period of 30 days, which was later renewed.
President Tshisekedi made this decision because the armed conflict in the east of the country has been going on for decades. The DAECH-RDC or Central African Province of the Islamic State, was born from the evolution of the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces), a rebel formation of Ugandan origin that has been carrying out attacks in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo for some time. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/9/2021)