The mayor of Beni calls on the population to trust the National Army and MONUSCO Forces in their fight against ADF
The acting mayor of the city of Beni in the province of North-Kivu called on the population to trust the National Army and MONUSCO Forces in their fight against the armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the common enemy. The statement was made in a joint press conference held on December 29, 2020 to give an update of the latest security developments in the region.
The press conference was convened at the Mayor’s facility in the city of Beni by the acting mayor, Modeste Bakwanamaha, who was assisted by FARDC’s representative and the chief of MONUSCO bureau. Discussions focused on the worrying security situation in Beni, with killings reported even during this the last month of the year, perpetrated by members of the ADF armed group.
Following the persistent attacks attributed to the ADF, several people raised their voice to question the relevance of MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). Some groups even organized marches against the renewal of MONUSCO's mandate. On the night of December 27 to 28, young people from a Rwangoma neighborhood were strongly opposed to a mixed patrol FARDC, PNC and MONUSCO.
The enemy is not the police. The enemy is not the army. The enemy is not MONUSCO. The enemy is known, it is the ADF
In such an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust, the acting mayor recalled the efforts made by law enforcement and defense forces, including MONUSCO, in securing the population. For Modeste Bakwanamaha, the population’s reaction against these forces are the results of manipulations that benefit the enemy ADF, the real perpetrator of the unrest. "It is up to us, the victims of these troubles, to stand together and understand that we are in difficult plight and it is in our best interest to join forces against the common enemy," said the acting mayor. “The enemy is not the mayor of the city. The enemy is not the police. The enemy is not the army. The enemy is not MONUSCO. The enemy is known, it is the ADF, " he said. Modeste Bakwanamaha insisted on the fact that "the enemy is very shrewd and is seeking how to use the population to divide the Joint Force Police-FARDC-FIB, fearing the damages the latter can cause against them"
Abdourahamane Ganda, acting head of MONUSCO Beni-Butembo-Lubero office, acknowledges that the situation is tough but is confident that “the enemy can be defeated by the joint force : Congolese state (represented by the authorities, the FARDC, the PNC and all the security apparatus…), MONUSCO and the population ". Recognizing that much remains to be done, Abdourahamane Ganda insisted "without such a joint force, it would be difficult to defeat the enemy ... to win this asymmetric war".
Like the urban authority of Beni, the interim head of MONUSCO Beni-Butembo-Lubero office called for the union of forces and the population against the ADF, the common enemy, fought by the FARDC with support from MONUSCO.