DRC: Félix Tshisekedi Urges Fighters in Ituri and North Kivu to Lay Down Arms

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In a notable call to action, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has appealed to those on the fringes of society to participate in the disarmament and reintegration effort. This significant declaration was made on Monday, August 14th, during the commencement of a roundtable discussion convened to evaluate the state of emergency in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu. These regions have grappled with insecurity for over three decades.

In his address, the President highlighted that the persistent insecurity in the eastern part of the country had cast a shadow over the very existence of key institutions. It was against this backdrop that the exceptional measure of a state of emergency was instituted, specifically, the state of emergency which has been in effect in Ituri and North Kivu for the past two years and three months. The President was keen to emphasize that this measure was not intended to be a permanent fixture.

While the state of emergency serves as a framework aligned with the nature of the operations undertaken to counteract the forces obstructing peace, the President acknowledged that it has imposed significant sacrifices upon the populations of Ituri and North Kivu, impacting their customary ways of life.

Pending the deliberations in Kinshasa that will determine the continuation or cessation of the state of emergency, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi extended a call to all those who have disrupted the peace. He articulated, “The government of the Republic has committed, in good faith, to offer a final opportunity for peaceful exit to the rebel groups still present within the national territory through the disarmament, demobilization, community recovery, and stabilization program.”

Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, for his part, underscored the multitude of assessment missions that have been carried out in the provinces affected by the state of emergency. This roundtable discussion in Kinshasa has brought together national legislators, dignitaries, leaders, institutional representatives, and members of civil society in a collective effort to deliberate on the matter.


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