News / Africa

DRC Army Advances in 4th Day of Battle

Congolese government army soldiers prepare their weapons at an attack position near Munigi, overlooking the front-line, where they are fighting against M23 rebels outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, Jul. 15, 2013.
Congolese government army soldiers prepare their weapons at an attack position near Munigi, overlooking the front-line, where they are fighting against M23 rebels outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, Jul. 15, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Nick Long
— The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army has continued advancing in a fourth day of fighting against M23 rebels near the eastern city of Goma.

DRC Army Advances in Fourth Day of Battle
DRC Army Advances in Fourth Day of Battlei
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
 
The scene is a government army position at mid-afternoon Wednesday, just after the M23 had started targeting some nearby tanks.
 
"You men get forward," the sergeant is shouting. "Where are you retreating for? Get in front of the tanks."
 
For a moment, there was a brief panic as mortar bombs started falling, causing some casualties in a commando platoon.
 
"Take that man and get him out of here," an officer shouts, pointing to a soldier who has just been hit.
 
But the incoming fire seemed to be heavily outweighed by the army’s outgoing fire with tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships that pounded the rebel positions.
 
After an hour or more of shelling on both sides, the commandos moved forward following the tanks.
 
An intelligence officer said the unit had advanced 300 meters by mid-afternoon. That rate of progress may speed up if, as United Nations sources report, the rebels are running low on ammunition.
 
The M23 is outmanned as well as outgunned, having only around 2,000 combatants, against an army that on paper numbers 100,000. Although the army faces many other armed groups, few of them support M23.
 
A civilian, Jules Akili, who traveled through the M23 zone on Wednesday before crossing over to the government side, told VOA he saw hardly any M23 soldiers.
 
He says he traveled from Rutshuru Centre a distance of about 40 kilometers, and saw only five M23 soldiers along the route, which was guarded by M23 police.
 
The Congolese army’s recent successes have prompted euphoric scenes in Goma, with civilians waving leafy branches staging victory runs on the outskirts of town.
 
Tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting who are living in camps around Goma are hoping the army can defeat all the rebels so they can return to their homes.
 
Women at a displaced peoples camp say they would be very happy to see their villages liberated from the rebels, and are hopeful the army can do it.
 
A Congolese journalist told VOA five government soldiers were badly wounded on Wednesday, and a local journalist also was hurt.
 
On Tuesday, the government said 120 rebels had been killed in the fighting since Sunday, a claim that could not be independently verified
 
A United Nations source Wednesday evening said the army had pushed back an M23 counter attack and was still advancing.
 
Nick Long sent this report from the front line, 12 kilometers north of Goma. 

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Oxen from: Mars
July 18, 2013 4:00 PM
The UN & SDC need to help the DRC army as much as possible to pacify the Eastern part of DRC and secure the Uganda Rwanda borders. The conflict has caused a lot of suffering. Also thorough training is needed and enforcing discipline in the DRC army, otherwise the area will remain a haven for rogue groups like M23 , and many others that tend to get support in many forms from the neighboring regimes armies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid