President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi declared late Friday a state of siege in the northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, due to the surging violence by armed groups in the region.

The president made this decision in concert with Prime Minister Lukonde Sama as well as the speakers of the Senate and National Assembly, according to the minutes of the Council of Ministers released on the national television by government spokesman Patrick Muyaya. A presidential order will be announced in the next few hours. “Given the seriousness of the current situation in this part of the country, an order from the president of the Republic is expected within hours,” added Muyaya.

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