Congolaise Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde resigns

Congolese Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde resigned on last week triggering the dissolution of the entire government. However, President Felix Tshisekedi asked him to continue managing current affairs, “taking into account the situation in the country and pending the appointment of the new government”.

Lukonde, 46, was in office for three years. He was appointed on February 15, 2021 to head the government following the break-up of the alliance between the coalition of former President Joseph Kabila and that of Tshisekedi. 

UN agencies continue to sound the alarm over the escalating violence and worsening humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where government troops have been battling M23 rebels.

Since the resurgence of fighting around the town of Sake in North Kivu province earlier this month, some 144,000 people have been forced to flee the outskirts of the provincial capital, Goma. 

Other non-State armed groups have also launched a spate of targeted attacks against civilians this week in the city of Beni and in the Irumu territory in neighbouring Ituri province.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCRsaid on Friday that its protection monitoring teams have received reports of killings, kidnappings and the burning of homes. 

Separately, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) alongside the World Food Programme (WFP) called for immediate action to protect children and families. 

They said the increase in violence and displacement is straining their resources to mount a comprehensive response that includes food, clean water, good sanitation, safe shelter, basic health care and protective services for women and children.

The DRC has become one of the most significant internal displacement crises in Africa, with nearly seven million people displaced, primarily due to conflict in the east. The UN migration agency, IOM, estimates that 1.6 million people have been displaced in the past year alone.

This week, the DRC Government and humanitarian partners launched a $2.6 billion appeal to provide lifesaving assistance and protection to 8.7 million people in need.