News / Africa

UN to Discuss DRC as Army Takes Towns From Rebels

Congolese army commanders discuss tactics near Kibumba Hill, which is occupied by M23 rebels, around 25kms from the provincial capital Goma, in eastern Congo, Oct. 27, 2013.
Congolese army commanders discuss tactics near Kibumba Hill, which is occupied by M23 rebels, around 25kms from the provincial capital Goma, in eastern Congo, Oct. 27, 2013.
VOA News
The U.N. Security Council is set to discuss the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, as fighting between rebels and soldiers continued there for a fourth day.

A Congolese army spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Hamuli, said troops seized the town of Rumangabo from rebel group M23 on Monday. Witnesses say residents cheered soldiers as they entered the town, which is home to a large military base.

Earlier, DRC Information Minister Lambert Mende said troops had retaken the town of Kiwanja and the M23 rebel stronghold of Rutshuru in North Kivu province near the border with Rwanda.

The fighting began Friday less than a week after peace talks between the government and the M23 broke down after failing to reach an agreement on amnesty for the rebels.  Each side accuses the other of launching the first attacks.

Mende said any talk of peace cannot happen while "bandits" are killing Congolese people, soldiers and international troops.

“I don’t see how people getting amnesty can be firing on regular troops.  They are not credible when they are talking of asking amnesty.  They are just destabilizing the situation, destabilizing so as to allow their friends to continue looting our country,” said Mende.

The United Nations said a peacekeeper from Tanzania was killed in Kiwanja while protecting the civilian population.

M23 consists of rebel fighters who joined the Congolese army in a 2009 peace deal but later defected, saying they were treated poorly and the government did not live up to the deal.

Last year, the group took over territory in North Kivu province and briefly seized Goma, the provincial capital.

North Kivu and nearby provinces have endured years of fighting between the government and various militia and rebel groups.  Much of the fighting is over control of the area's rich mines.

U.N. experts have accused Rwanda and Uganda of supporting M23, an allegation both nations deny.

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by: Jean Kapenda from: USA
October 28, 2013 8:42 AM
Now is the time to start building a D-Fence, i.e., a huge border fence in eastern Congo along the borders with Rwanda and Uganda, as part of Congo's new defense architecture. For more details, visit my blog at http://africamericaplus.blogspot.com/

by: Anonymous
October 28, 2013 12:23 AM
The notion that Rwanda special militia will continue to target UN intervention brigade especially Tanzanian troops must be stopped. Rwanda must be punished severely for sending forces into DRC that intermingle with their M23 militia. The war will not end unless the source of the problem, that is Rwanda & Uganda regimes are tackled by all means and warned sternly about their rebels menace. These two regimes are facilitating and suporting the rebels a whole lot with Rwanda more directly involved. UN/SADC/DRC needs to create a very strong presence/buffer at the Rwanda and Uganda borders

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