A critical question looms over the fate of the state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu: Should it be lifted or maintained? The roundtable discussions assessing the security situation in this region are set to conclude on Wednesday, August 16th, at the Palais du Peuple in Kinshasa. Amidst heated debates, the decision remains uncertain.
During the commission proceedings on Tuesday, August 15th, some provincial deputies from Ituri, in favor of lifting the state of siege, temporarily exited the room just two hours after the start of the session. However, they promptly re-entered, employing this move to assert their stance, noted an observer.
With the three distinct groups advocating for lifting the state of siege, maintaining it, or reclassifying it as a state of emergency, the discussions continued after the temporary disruption. At the end of the day, each commission presented their respective reports to Prime Minister Sama Lukonde.
It’s worth noting that the commissions advocating for maintaining the state of siege and lifting it engaged in a spirited exchange of arguments, each presenting their case. The former highlighted the suffering of the population, while the latter emphasized the threats posed by armed groups. The commission proposing the reclassification of the state of siege as a state of emergency, however, found no constitutional basis to argue for their stance.
The closing ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday morning, August 16th will be presided over by President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, as was the opening session. As the deliberations near their conclusion, the fate of the state of siege hangs in the balance, encapsulating the complex challenge of balancing security concerns with the well-being of the affected population.