“Given the situation prevailing in some eastern provinces of Congo-Kinshasa, the President informed his ministers of his decision to declare blockade permits in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in accordance with the constitution and in consultation with the Prime Minister and the leaders of the two chambers.” The spokesman, Patrick Moya, according to the online newspaper realite.cd.
According to the country’s constitution, the president can declare either a state of emergency or a state of siege “if difficult circumstances immediately threaten the independence or integrity of the national territory, or if they conflict with the work of institutions.”
On Thursday, the president said he would take “drastic measures” to deal with the situation in the east of the country, and earlier this week Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lecondi proposed a state of emergency to replace civilian powers with military powers.
More than 1,200 people have died in the region since 2017, several hundreds this year alone. There are around 120 different armed groups operating there, and according to the United Nations, more than 1.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes, while around 2.8 million are in desperate need of assistance.