Violent protests broke out over the postponement of presidential polls between demonstrators and police forces on 19 & 20 September in Kinshasa. Opposition groups claimed that more than 50 people were killed, while the Government said 17 people died.
At least 680 civilians were killed in the 120 attacks in Beni territory since October 2014. Victims and witnesses described brutal attacks in which assailants methodically kill people with guns, axes and machetes. The actual number of victims could be much higher.
The widespread killing and displacement of civilians continues in Tanganyika province, in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2013 fighting broke out between armed groups linked to the Balubakat and the Batwa communities which further escalated in early 2015. Since then, hundreds of civilians have been killed, dozens of villages burned to the ground, and tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes.
Gedeon Kyungu, Bakata Katanga militia leader, has surrendered to DRC authorities, five years after he escaped from prison following his conviction for crimes against humanity. He turned himself in with about 106 of his fighters at a ceremony in the village of Malambwe on 12 October.
UNICEF and World Food Programme (WFP) put in place the largest humanitarian cash intervention ever implemented in DRC with more than 2 Million US$ delivered to almost thirt1een thousand families in the Lubero territory.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
25,105 # of cases of cholera in DRC (DRC Ministry of Health, October 2016)
1.9 Millions # of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) (OCHA 30 September 2016)
3,332 # of children formerly associated with armed forces/groups released and provided with assistance
Us$ 2 million Delivered to almost 13,000 families in the largest humanitarian cash intervention ever implemented in DRC
US$ 130 million UNICEF Humanitarian Appeal for 2016
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The electoral process
Between September and October the political and security situations have been particularly volatile not only in Kinshasa but in the whole country. On 19 and 20 September dozens of people died in anti-government violence in the capital Kinshasa after the electoral commission said it could not hold polls in November 2016. At least three opposition political parties were attacked and set on fire. On 16 October, the ‘National Dialogue’ resulted in the agreement between Congo’s ruling coalition and part of the opposition to an interim period with President Joseph Kabila remaining in power and elections until April 2018. The main opposition parties, however, boycotted the Dialogue and have not agreed to its outcomes. The deal was not accepted by the Rassemblement1, the main opposition coalition, which says it violates the constitution. Congo’s Catholic Church also rejected the agreement, insisting that President Kabila should agree not to seek a third mandate which would be unconstitutional.
The opposition called for a general strike or ‘ville morte’ (dead city) on 19 October to pressure President Kabila to step down in December. Most schools, markets, and businesses were closed and traffic circulation in Kinshasa due to the presence of near to 10 million people, despite calls by the government to avoid the strike. UNICEF and most UN agencies continued operating.
In September 2016, the United States (US) imposed sanctions on two senior Congolese security officials (General Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi,) accused of threatening democracy and repressing the political rights and freedoms of DRC’s citizens. Similarly, the European Union (EU)’s foreign affairs council have, since the September clashes, called for targeted sanctions against government officials responsible for repressive actions. International stakeholders, including the US and the European Union, have expressed concerns about the delays in elections and transition period, pushing for elections to be held as soon as possible and for the constitution to be respected.