World News

Congolese Army Claims Capture of Towns in Eastern DRC

Fighting between rebels and soldiers in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continued for a third day Sunday with government troops saying they have taken three more towns.

A Congolese army spokesman said troops gained control of Kiwanja, Buhumba and the M23 rebel stronghold of Rutshuru, in North Kivu province near the border with Rwanda.

But some fighting was reportedly still continuing in the strategic town of Kibumba, despite the army saying it took control of the area from rebels a day earlier.

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

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.

The Congolese army and rebel group M23 accuse each other of launching the first attacks.



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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