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DRC: Is Tshisekedi’s military gamble in the east paying off?

By Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala
Posted on Thursday, 8 July 2021 09:23

9 August 2012 - Rumangabo, DRC - Two fighters of the M23 rebel movement stand in an abandoned church of the biggest military base in the region, formally occupied by government forces. Photo Credit: Marc Hofer/Sipa USA/

The declaration of a month-long state of siege in May is a sign that the DRC's President Félix Tshisekedi is taking more of a security-first approach to the fighting and instability in the eastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

After the first month delivered few improvements on the ground, the government prolonged the state of siege for another two weeks in June. Analysts says it will take much longer to deal with rebel groups preying on local populations and the security forces that refuse to fight them or give them support.

The state of siege was a key measure announced by the newly formed government. Placing these two provinces under military administration, replacing governors and deputy governors with officials from the army or police, and suspending civilian jurisdictions was supposed to help solve the security problem in these regions.