Congo's Fayulu urges end of martial law in North Kivu and Ituri regions

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Congolese opposition leader Martin Fayulu criticized what he called the shameless stealing of public funds under President Felix Tshisekedi's government, reported French broadcaster RFI Friday.

In his end-of-year speech, Fayulu who controversially lost to Tshisekedi in the 2018 election singled out the missing funds intended for Covid-19 response and civil servants' salaries.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing a surge in virus cases driven by the Omicron and Delta variants.

Congo is the least vaccinated country against COVID-19 in the world. A combination of vaccine hesitancy and weak state capacity has contributed to the low vaccine uptake.

Tshisekedi who took over from Joseph Kabila in January of 2019 has also been accused by the opposition of seeking to undermine the electoral commission's independence ahead of the 2023 vote.

Fayulu slammed the presence of Ugandan troops on Congolese soil, saying Kinshasa was sub-contracting the security of the state to foreigners.

In December, Kampala sent soldiers to eastern Congo to carry out joint operations against the ADF rebel group, which it blamed for deadly bombings in November.

The leader of the Lamuka coalition also demanded the lifting of martial law in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. The regions were placed under army rule last year after Tshisekedi announced an operation to counter armed groups.

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