Pinga: Reassured by the presence of peacekeepers and the army, families have returned home
After fleeing recurrent attacks by armed groups into the bush, more than sixty people returned home in Pinga, Walikale territory, in North Kivu late October 2020 following the reinforcement of the Congolese armed Forces (FARDC) and National Police (PNC) units deployed in this area, as well as the presence of MONUSCO peacekeepers’ temporary base.
The population’s return was noted at the end of an integrated response’s visit to Pinga by all the substantive sections of MONUSCO office in Goma. For two days, MONUSCO carried out activities aimed at enhancing the capacity of local authorities and community actors to address the factors contributing to persistent insecurity, violence and human rights violations, as well as community tensions.
The Mission also organized a series of consultations with community leaders on the challenges of peaceful coexistence, also with the aim of updating the mapping of the presence of local authorities and their needs.
For Kise Wango Urumbo Siméon, the governor's delegate official, Pinga has become a hotbed of insecurity because it is surrounded on all sides by armed groups.
“The government has a lot to do in Pinga for lasting peace to be restored there, as usual, with its partner MONUSCO. First, FARDC must be present everywhere. The population no longer needs to live with armed groups. This is why we are asking the government to deploy the FARDC ”, he said.
With the truce observed for several weeks in Pinga, the returnees are timidly trying to resume their activities. However, some continue to fear that the situation, still volatile, may deteriorate due to persistence of militias all around the city.
During the consultations organized by MONUSCO, participants, including members of civil society organisations and women's representatives, argued that the presence of the FARDC must be reinforced before starting to rehabilitate the infrastructure, and it is also necessary to contribute to reducing youth unemployment.
While welcoming the actions by blue helmets in support of the FARDC, these local actors have strongly urged the establishment of a permanent MONUSCO base as well as support for development projects in this area which has long remained unstable due to armed groups’ activism.