Lawmakers sound alarm over 114 violent civilian deaths in Eastern DR Congo

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At least 144 civilians were killed in eastern Congo this month, lawmakers from the conflict-hit provinces said, refusing to back extending a state of siege they said was failing its mission to end decades of instability.

Despite the lawmakers’ objections, parliament approved the motion to extend the state of siege as it has done every two weeks.

Under the siege initiative, government in May replaced civilian administrations in North Kivu and Ituri provinces with police and military personnel, but a parliamentary report last month criticised a lack of proper planning and funding.

Civilians were killed at the same rate as before the state of siege, according to data from Kivu Security Tracker, which maps violence in the region where more than 120 rebel groups operate.

The lawmakers’ declaration listed a recent massacres, including the killing of at least 22 civilians in Chabusiku village in Ituri province overnight on Sunday and the killing of at least 70 civilians in Kisunga village in North Kivu last week.