The Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidency on Monday ordered military and police officers to take over from civil authorities in North-Kivu and Itur provinces which have been declared under a “state of siege”. AfricaNews reports that under the DRC’s constitution, the president can declare a state of either siege or emergency “if severe circumstances immediately threaten the independence or integrity of the national territory, or if they interrupt the regular functioning of institutions”. While welcomed by the North-Kivu governor, some observers have expressed alarm at the idea of replacing civil authorities with military ones, warning it could lead to abuses of power.