Armed attacks continue in the eastern DRC despite the state of siege declared by the authorities in the provinces of Ituri and northern Kivu. Especially in Beni’s territory, the ADF is more violent after the intrusion of recent weeks. In the face of this situation, the army is developing new strategies. In Mutwanga, for example, the FARDC works with Virunga National Park rangers to respond quickly to an attack.
With our special correspondent in Mutwanga, Patient Ligodi
Nzenga’s forward-looking base is almost in the city. In this enclosure built with the help of the locals, several dozen FARDC soldiers and park rangers form almost a single body. The goal is to be as responsive as possible to attacks from ADF warriors (Allied Democratic Forces), one of the armed groups raging in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“It is a large staff. It is divided into three units. The first is with zero notice, ie it can intervene immediately in the event of a warning. The second unit intervenes within 15 minutes as support, and the third remains in reserve, “said Emmanuel de Merode, head of Virungaparken.
Community reporting buttons The system relies heavily on technology and community participation to be effective. A microoperation center is installed here. A screen is constantly on and allows the Community alert system to be monitored. “The dots you see on the screen are buttons that we hand out in the community. In the event of a suspicious movement, the goalkeeper presses the button and we get the warning here with the exact location “, explains Augustin, one of the people responsible for the environmental guards.
The environmental guards and soldiers in this operational base can only leave the containment with the express permission of the site manager. The threat is almost permanent in this area. In May last year, about ten soldiers were killed here. Military sources speak of an ADF presence about ten kilometers north of Nzanga. And this pilot project, which integrates technology, community participation and close cooperation between environmentalists and the FARDC, advocates expanding in the region.