KINSHASHA – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reduce restrictions in two conflict-hit areas where a state of siege, essentially martial law had been in force for two years.
President, Félix Tshisekedi, said in a televised address on Thursday night that he had decided on “a gradual and progressive easing” of restrictions in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
The state of siege was imposed in 2021 in order to suppress unrest in the region, reported the BBC.
The president said he would lift a curfew that had been imposed, allow the free movement of people and goods and restore the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly.
It comes just months before the general elections, to be held on December 20, in which Tshisekedi is seeking re-election.
“This is all the more important as the various players involved in the electoral process are entitled to participate fully and without hindrance,” he said.
The stage of siege had been criticised by human rights groups who say it has led to mass detentions and restrictions on movement.
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