in Ituri, the signatories of a peace agreement skeptical despite a drop in intercommunity violence

in Ituri the signatories of a peace agreement skeptical despite

In Ituri, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), almost two and a half months after the signing of a peace agreement, its signatories display their skepticism despite a reduction in intercommunal violence in this province where have been facing militias since 2017.

3 mins

With our correspondent in Goma, Coralie Pierret

After the signing of the peace agreements in Ituri, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on April 26, and while President Félix Tshisekedi is still expected in Bunia, the capital of this province, observers agree that the abuses have decreased.

In this region, community militias have been clashing since 2017 and civilians are the main victims of this conflict. Several thousand die each year, according to local civil society. But, more than a month after the peace agreement, the signatories remain skeptical.

The abuses tend to resume their merry way »

If the leaders of the armed groups had traveled to Kinshasa to meet President Félix Tshisekedi then to Bunia, the capital of Ituri, to sign the peace agreements, they have since returned to the bush.

Bassa Zukpa, reached by telephone, is the spokesperson for the main faction of the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (Codeco), a militia which says it defends the Lendu community. “The peace agreements that we signed recently are already starting to produce good results, except that the government has not yet put in place a monitoring mechanism “, he says.

The disarmament process, called the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization Program (PDDRC-S), is not yet implemented. Everyone fears a new outbreak of violence since no disarmament process has proven effective until now. Just like no peace process.

Victor Ngona is the spokesperson for the G5, a community association close to the Zaire militia which says it defends the Hema community. “ This becomes an agreement that I would describe as lame insofar as the abuses still tend to return to their merry way.he says. However, it was applauded by everyone “.

Clashes and targeted assassinations have been observed by civil society since the end of April, mainly around mining sites, particularly gold mining.

Read alsoDRC: Ituri civil society calls for an end to the state of siege in the East

The Hema Council Chamber, a community association, filed a complaint this week with the military prosecutor’s office: a complaint for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and mass crimes, while a first complaint of this genre had already been filed last year. A copy of this complaint was filed with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a consequence of the publication of a report of more than 160 pages in which the abuses committed over the last year (April 2023 – April) are listed 2024) by several armed groups, notably Codeco. These abuses against the civilian population number in the hundreds, despite the state of siege in the province, explains Maître Roger Logo who was contacted by victims.

Master Roger Logo: “We have documented the crimes committed by this militia”

Alexandra Brangeon