Since July 2013, a series of massacres have occurred in the Beni territory of North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, an area heavily affected by the current Ebola outbreak. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands have been displaced (Congo Research Network, 2016, 2017). The kidnappings and mass killings transformed Beni from an area of relative calm to a violent hotspot. What has been historically troubling about these armed attacks is the lack of knowledge surrounding them. With the constant shifting of political alliances, the emergence of new armed groups and political scapegoating, the identity and motives of perpetrators remain highly ambiguous and contested.
In the face of this complexity, civilians are left with the constant fear of being killed, kidnapped, or conscripted. In addition, tensions between the government and ethnic groups in the region have further intensified people’s mistrust in state institutions and activities. This report focuses on factors that hindered safe and effective Ebola response strategies, as identified through rapid data collected with community members in ‘resistance’ hotspots of Beni, North Kivu, in September-October 2018.