Angola shuts border point with DRC

Angolan President and MPLA leader, Jose Eduardo dos Santos attends a party central committee at a meeting in Luanda, Angola, December 2 ,2016. REUTERS/Herculano Coroado

Angolan authorities have closed a border point with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to the deterioration of the security situation in the latter’s Kasai Province.

Angola’s Lunda Norte Province Governor Ernesto Muangala said that the border markets could not remain open in the prevailing circumstances.

Luanda Norte Province is located 656km north of the capital Luanda, and shares borders with both DRC and Congo-Brazzaville.

According to reports, instability in Kasai has led to tensions at the border point.

DR Congo’s central region of Kasai has seen a spike in violence since September, that has left at least 400 dead Africa Review reports.

The uprising erupted when government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader Kamwina Nsapu.

Nsapu was leading a rebellion against President Joseph Kabila.

On Tuesday, the bodies of two UN experts who were missing in DRC were found dumped in central Kasai.

The two were abducted two weeks ago while investigating reports of human rights abuses after local rebels took up arms.

Some 40 police officers had been found beheaded in the region earlier.

Last week, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders appealed to the international community to support DRC hold peaceful and credible elections.

DRC was expected to hold a General Election by the end of 2017 as stipulated in a power-sharing deal reached on the New Year’s Eve.

However, the United Nations has criticised the lack of progress towards implementing the deal, which also called for the establishment of a transitional council.

The conflict in DR Congo has forced several citizens to flee to Angola and other neighbouring countries.

Eastern DR Congo has been wracked by conflict since 1994, when Hutu militias fled across the border from Rwanda after carrying out a genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus.