MONUSCO reinforces FARDC’s operational capacities in the context of the fight against armed groups in Ituri
Fuel, food rations and water: Those are the items donated by MONUSCO to the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) to strengthen their operational capacities in the context of the fight against armed groups in Ituri. The first (official) delivery took place on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at Camp Ndromo, three kilometers from Bunia, in the presence of a representative of the Provincial Government of Ituri.
For three months, MONUSCO will provide such logistical support to FARDC to enable them not only to carry out the military operation codenamed "Zaruba Ya Ituri" (Ituri storm in English) against the militias who commit wide-scale killings and massacres of civilians mainly in the Djugu and Mahagi territories; but also to secure goods and people along the Route Nationale 27.
If we run out of fuel, operations would be interrupted, we would not be able to leave Bunia for the front lines. This support will advance operations.
“MONUSCO’s assistance is a plus that will help us a lot. We need to ensure regular supply to our troops at the front. If we run out of fuel, operations would be interrupted, we would not be able to leave Bunia for the front lines. This support will advance operations. Operations without class 3 as we say in our jargon, that is to say without fuel is a null work. We welcome this support from MONUSCO for the FARDC, as provided for in its mandate which recommends that it supports the FARDC, "said FARDC officer this morning during the first delivery of fuel..
For 90 days, MONUSCO will thus donate thousands of litres of diesel to the FARDC Units engaged in the hunt for militiamen who have been plunging the whole of Ituri into mourning for several years.
531 civilians killed in 6 months
In recent weeks, the attacks and the nature of violence committed by armed groups have become increasingly atrocious, characterized in particular by sexual violence, beheadings and mutilation of corpses.
Some testimonies even reported acts of cannibalism. According to the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC (UNJHRO), between October 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020, at least 531 civilians were killed by armed groups in Ituri, including 375 since March.
MONUSCO has been in Djugu since the start of the crisis, where military bases were set up to support FARDC and secure civilian populations, including the IDPs. MONUSCO is also working tirelessly with provincial, local and customary authorities to end the violence.
Day or night, MONUSCO pedestrian or motorized patrols ride through the streets of Mahagi, Bayoo, Libie, Kondoni, Roe, Fataki, Amee, to name but a few, in a bid to defeat militiamen’s deadly plans, noting that the attackers do not hesitate to fire at the peacekeepers.
In addition to these purely military operations, MONUSCO also organizes training and awareness seminars for local populations on peaceful coexistence, mechanisms and tools for protecting civilians, etc.
In her Declaration made on June 4, 2020, the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda stated her “Office will intensify contacts with the Congolese authorities to reinforce the work already initiated in order to map the incidents potentially falling within the competence of the CPI ... A mission from my Office will be deployed in the DRC as soon as the conditions linked to the COVID-19 health crisis allow. ”
Moreover, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Fatou Bensouda said "some of the incidents involving massacres and other abuses and violations could constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes ".