News / Africa

    DRC Troops Target Rebel Site Near Goma

    Young boy walks toward FARDC government forces tanks near the front line in Kanyaruchinya, 15 km from Goma, DRC, July 24, 2013.
    Young boy walks toward FARDC government forces tanks near the front line in Kanyaruchinya, 15 km from Goma, DRC, July 24, 2013.
    Gabe Joselow
    The Congolese army says it has attacked an M23 base near Goma, a city that was briefly captured by the rebel group last year.
     
    Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli says Wednesday's military strikes targeted the rebel group's storage sites for weapons and ammunition.
     
    But the rebel group says military helicopters bombed a nearby neighborhood, striking the village of Kavodo, close to Rumangabo, killing several people.
     
    “They did not attack any military position, they attacked only houses and people who were around Rumangabo,” said M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa.
     
    An M23 spokesman emailed photos showing destruction and dead bodies the group claims is a result of the attack, and a doctor at a hospital treating victims said three children were killed as well as an adult, and that seven others were wounded.
     
    The army denies civilians were killed.
     
    The French News Agency says M23 rebels also claim more than 400 troops have been killed since the unrest erupted almost two weeks ago.
     
    M23 captured Goma in November before withdrawing under intense international pressure. The group has been demanding the government fully implement a 2009 peace deal that is designed to integrate rebels into the Congolese army.
     
    Meanwhile, the DRC government has welcomed a U.S. call for Rwanda to end its support of M23.
     
    On Tuesday, U.S. State Department urged Rwanda to stop backing the rebel group. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said M23's renewed fighting "seriously undermines regional and international efforts" to peacefully resolve unrest in the eastern DRC.
     
    DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende told VOA on Wednesday he would like to see the United States take action against Rwanda, particularly in the form of sanctions, because the country seems "reluctant to follow any advice that is being given to [it] by the international community."
     
    The United Nations, rights groups and other western nations have long asserted that Rwanda has provided backing for the rebel group, a claim that Kigali has repeatedly denied.
     
    A Human Rights Watch investigation published Monday accuses M23 of committing grave abuses in areas under their control, including killings and rape.
     
    In June, the United Nations said a report from international experts contained evidence that Rwandan military officers had been helping M23. Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo denied the charge and said it was "disingenuous."
     
    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: keshi from: france
    July 30, 2013 6:57 AM
    DRC should not blame neighbor for its bad politics of exclusion that lead to war. Secondly, I wonder why DRC received on its territory Rwanda perpetrators of genocide with ammunition of war. After 20 yrs almost, DRC continue to harbor armed militia that killed a million of people in Rwanda. Why?

    by: Oxen
    July 25, 2013 2:14 PM
    The rebels need to be defeated completely & disarmed if they keep causing problems. It is foolish to continue to believe in talks in Kampala. Kigali and Kampala are the ring leaders and to have talks there is kind of naive. The talks can take place in Tanzania of some place else. Also the cease fire calls by the MP's are just tricks instigated or played by the Kigali and Kampala chaos architects. As long as UN/AU/SADC handle Rwanda/Uganda regimes with kid gloves there will be anarchy in DRC. It is very easy to figure out and several reports have indicated the support Rwanda and Uganda give the rebels. These two regimes need to be handled very sterny because their history and behavior is widely well know & imagining they will change any time soon is fantasy. Strong action need to be taken in Rwanda army leadership and Uganda. The rebels need to be patriotic -if there are indeed some Congolese among them. Relying on foreign support from Rwanda and Uganda is not a good recipe for local support.

    by: Zimele Futi from: Goma - DRC
    July 25, 2013 2:12 PM
    A Rwandan man with Batistuta's name. You killed Hutu in genocide too. Who brought Hutu in Congo? "Operation Turquoise", do you know that? You say "Why wouldn't Rwanda secure itself against rebels that are working freely in a stateless territory? It was the reason your Army fought Ugadan's army in Kisangani.
    Several sources in the group Kisigari say six capita Kayanzi village near the military camp Rumangabo civilian casualties have received shrapnel that launched M23 rebels against the bombers of the FARDC.
    Remember, since you started, you killed more than six millions of Congolese people.
    You say before 1885 Berlin conference, this lie is good for new people and some medias pro-Kagame. The true is:
    1. Any Kinyarwanda people were in Congo before 1885 and all Belgian document speak about them like immigrants.
    2. If it was Congolese, why they received the nationality in 1971?
    3. Why you don't say again Banyamulenge?
    We know your tactic,

    by: kabongo from: lincoln - nebraska
    July 24, 2013 8:11 PM
    why most of your articles end with Rwandan's opinions?
    Genocide in Rwanda wasn't Congolese problem.
    Why Rwanda can continue to kill more than 6 millions of Congolese?
    Rwanda denies everything. But how his army did fight Ougandan army in Kisangani (DR Congo) when Rwanda never sent troops there?
    Stop to support Kagame because he is criminal more than Kadhaffi or Mugabe
    In Response

    by: Batistuta from: Kigali
    July 25, 2013 3:35 AM
    Genocide in Rwanda was not the concern of Congo but you ignore history and tend to forget the support of former President Mobutu to genocidaire regime of Habyarimana. How come genocide perpetrators ended up in Congo with all their arms and ammunitions? That's just one of the sources of the problem.

    The second problem is that you consider all Kinyarwanda speaking people as Rwandans. Some of them have been on their land before the 1885 Berlin conference. Why do you want to deny them their rights to their lands. If Rwanda fought in Congo that is for security reasons. US went to Irak, Afganistan, Vietnam...French in Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, etc... Why wouldn't Rwanda secure itself against rebels that are working freely in a stateless territory?

    It is very unfortunate that DRC/FARDC choose to fight against M23 instead of negotiations. The photos of the kids that were killed in Rumangabo are chocking and this is a call for stopping hostilities to give a chance to peace.

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