By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Several roads in Goma in the DRC’s eastern province of North Kivu were barricaded and commercial establishments shut down as part of a “dead city” protest organized by civil society movements on Monday, September 4.
The action was called in response to the killing of at least 56 people by the Congolese army (FARDC) in the city on August 30, ahead of a protest calling for the removal of UN and East African Community (EAC) security forces from the region.
North Kivu and neighboring Ituri have been under a state of siege since 2021, with conditions worsening due to a resurgence of attacks by the M23 armed rebel group — internationally acknowledged to be a proxy force backed by Rwanda. Since November 2022, the EAC has deployed a regional force (EACRF) to the eastern provinces of the DRC, composed of troops from Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan, and Uganda.
These forces have joined the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which has been stationed in the country since 2010, taking over from the United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). These forces together form the longest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in the UN’s history.
Despite multiple ceasefire agreements announced under the Luanda and Nairobi peace processes, which are being coordinated by Angola and Kenya (an EAC member state) respectively, the M23 has made significant advances in the past year. It has seized areas in the Rutshuru, Masisi, and Nyiragongo territories, and caused massive displacement.