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Troops, M23 Clash in DRC

  • VOA News

Congolese M23 rebels carry their weapons as they patrol near Rushuru, in Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 3, 2013.

Congolese M23 rebels carry their weapons as they patrol near Rushuru, in Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 3, 2013.

Fresh clashes have erupted between and army and M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a three-week lull in hostilities.

The unrest began late Wednesday outside of the flashpoint city of Goma and continued into Thursday.

Each side has blamed the other for starting the unrest.

Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli said the rebels launched the attack, but the army has the upper hand.

M23 spokesman Kabasha Amani said the unrest began after troops began massing near rebel positions and making small incursions.

The fighting marks the first major hostilities between the two sides since the army bombed the M23's headquarters in July and drove the rebels back several kilometers from Goma.

The M23 briefly took control of Goma last year and still controls parts of North Kivu province. The group has been fighting for political power and control of the region's rich mines.

The M23 is made up of former rebels who were integrated into the Congolese army in a 2009 peace agreement. However, the rebels later deserted the army, complaining of discrimination and poor treatment.
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