Democratic Republic of the Congo

Updated on 20/05/2021

In 2020, ongoing armed conflict between government forces and armed groups in the DRC’s northeastern Kivu and Ituri provinces continued to cause insecurity for health workers and organizations operating in the region.

Ebola-related mistrust among local communities based on misinformation and rumours spread person-to-person and online affected both the safety of health workers and the progress of Ebola treatment and prevention in north-eastern DRC in 2020.

2021 Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) Report

The SHCC identified 81 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in the DRC in 2020, compared to 434 such incidents in 2019. In these incidents, health facilities were damaged and destroyed, and health workers were killed and injured.

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Health Care

In 2020, health workers, hospitals and health clinics were targeted and attacked in North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces, all of which are plagued by protracted conflicts. Ebola operations in these provinces were affected by violence, but not to the same extent as in 2019 during the height of the outbreak.

Perpetrators were frequently non-state armed groups including Mai-Mai militias, the Allied Democratic Forces and local vigilante groups. Data

Our Global Interactive Map on Threats and Violence against Health Care provides access to continuously updated information on violence against health care in conflict and related to COVID-19.


In 2020, students and teachers were detained and injured by police officers during demonstrations against raising tuition fees, the closure of schools due to COVID-19 and unpaid wages.

Various militia groups stormed and attacked schools, kidnapping and attacking students and teachers.

Some students were also raped during these attacks in school premises. Teachers were at risk of being kidnapped and killed, whilst students were also at risk of being kidnapped and killed during more general attacks on civilians. Data

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence in the DRC is widespread, particularly in rural communities. Perpetrators of sexual violence include unidentified armed group, various mai-mai militia groups, FARDC soldiers and South Sudanese military forces.

Following the 10th Ebola outbreak in the Eastern part of DRC, reports of widespread sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse came to light. Insecurity Insight’s analysis report highlights some of the key learnings on reporting sexual violence, exploitation and abuse from the 10th Ebola Response in the DRC. We are developing and working with local organisations in the DRC to strengthen reporting and monitoring of incidents of sexual violence.

Social Media Monitoring

Insecurity Insight monitors and examines social media to identify when it is used to spread false information and incite violence against aid providers. In the DRC, social media was used during the 10th Ebola outbreak to spread doubt about the intentions of the health responders and at times to incite violence against the Ebola programme as well as the wider aid sector.