v1799Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo travelled to Beni on 16 August 2016, three days following the killing of more than fifty people in that locality in North Kivu.

He was preceded in Beni by an advance team comprising of the Vice Prime Minister in charge of Decentralisation, Defence Minister, and several army generals. Before travelling to Beni, the delegation attended a meeting of the High Council of Security chaired by President Kabila in Goma. The aimed to gauge the situation on the ground in Beni and advise on the appropriate course of action.

Matata affirmed the killing of civilian in Beni was to be blamed on Islamic radicals and that “the government is facing an asymmetrical war which cannot be dealt with using classical methods”.

Meanwhile, many fled their homes located in insecure neighbourhoods of Beni and sought refuge at their relatives who live in safer areas.

Shops remained closed for most of the day, as the business observed a recommendation made by the Beni civil society in protest to the insecurity that has claimed more than a thousand lives since 2014.

Meanwhile nine political parties from North Kivu issued a communiqué demanding the resignation of Matata who they described as “being incompetent to manage the security situation in North Kivu”. These parties called on their members of parliament to initiate a motion of no confidence against Matata when the Parliament resumes in September to unseat him as premier. The parties lamented that security never forms part of the items on the agenda of Matata’s weekly strategic meetings.

Matata left Beni later in the afternoon is expected to report on the matter to the President in Goma.