AFRICA/DR CONGO - North Kivu: two South African soldiers die in an attack on a military base

Thursday, 15 February 2024 local churches   violence  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The situation in North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is deteriorating. Yesterday, February 14, two South African soldiers were killed and three others wounded when a mortar shell hit a military base. The South African soldiers are deployed as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission in the Congolese province to support the Congolese armed forces and the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in an attempt to suppress the M23 movement to stop the threat to the capital of North Kivu, Goma. In addition to the 2,900 South African soldiers who have been stationed in the area since December, the SADC mission also includes soldiers from Tanzania and Malawi. Since late 2021, North Kivu province has been plagued by a conflict between the M23, supported by Rwandan army units, and the Congolese army. The conflict has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region, which has been the scene of repeated armed violence for three decades. Due to the deteriorating security situation, Goma City Mayor Kapend Kamand Faustin yesterday announced a measure banning churches from holding prayer sessions in the city's hills. The measure follows the increase in clashes observed in several areas of North Kivu province in recent days. "Kapend Kamand Faustin informs the leaders of the various churches whose believers go to the hills surrounding the city to pray that this activity will be suspended until further notice for security reasons," the statement from the authorities of Goma said. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 15/2/2024)