News / Africa

DRC Minister: Army Controls Goma Despite Reported Rebel Advances

M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.
M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.
M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.
James Butty
Democratic Republic of Congo Information Minister Lambert Mende said government forces are in complete control of the eastern city of Goma, despite reports that M23 rebels were just a few kilometers outside the city. 

Weekend fighting between government and rebel forces forced thousands of Goma residents to flee their homes.  

Mende accused Rwanda of supporting the rebels. Rwanda has denied a U.N. report accusing Kigali and Uganda of supporting the M23 rebels.

“The attempt to capture Goma by Rwandese and their ally M23 failed due to resistance from the Congolese army that enjoys also full support from MONUSCO troops, in order to protect the civilian population in our territory. But, Goma is still under full control of the government of the DRC, and the governor, local authorities, and even the higher command of our army, they are all in Goma to defend our country,” he said.

Mende said MONUSCO helicopter attacks on rebel positions were in line with the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force.

"This is the way to protect civilian populations because those guys are killing, destroying and raping, as reports from NGOs [and] from [the] United Nations have shown.  It will be a nightmare if they enter in a town like Goma with millions of people. So, it is the duty of the UN force to prevent such [a] situation and stop them from entering Goma because, if they enter there, we will lose hundreds of thousands of lives. That is why it is conformity with their mandate,” Mende said.

Butty interview with Mende
Butty interview with Mendei
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Mende said the Congolese army will vigorously defend against any outside attack by those he said may be calling themselves “gods.”

The renewed violence coincides with the release of a U.N. report repeating accusations that elements in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda are supporting the rebels. 

Rwanda and Uganda have strongly denied they are supporting the M23.

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Comment Sorting
by: Vangz from: Nairobi
November 19, 2012 4:49 PM
Heh guys, whts happening in Eastern Congo is a sad event that has been brewing for a while! As alwys, women & children bear the brunt of the suffering whc is sad. A few years ago, as a young truck supervisor, i had the pleasure of traveling widely within East Africa & S.Sudan including Goma, through the beautiful hilly town of Gisenyi. Anyway, One important lesson iv learnt is tht politicians are our worst enemies. They thrive on confusion and uncertainty! The mess in Eastern Congo is the brainchild of no particular individual but notably, politicians frm Drc, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya have benefited directly or indirectly thru their business associates. Where their is chaos, their is profit! Drc is one rich lawless country without credible systems of governance and sustainable revenue streams therefore it is very unlikely tht thy will ever find a lasting solution to their numerous problems because of the vested interests of the beneficiaries. Guys, wht im saying is tht Kabila nds to eat humble pie and work closely & tirelessly wth Kagame to map out an immediate solution to the current crisis becoz Kabila does not run Eastern Drc!!! Eastern Drc is controlled by a click of very powerful ruthless individuals who believe in profit and collateral damage...... Ooh, another thing - tho we are grateful for their presence, the U.N should stop taking sides because we see right thru their propaganda! Besides, they've been in Goma for more than 10 years and haven't achieved anything worth bragging about!!!!

by: Baha from: KGL
November 19, 2012 10:30 AM
This is DRC matter, and when they fail to sort it out, they took Rwanda for cause.It the shame of DRC gourvement because no one like his country and just get money, eating, drinking and tolking.
How many Brothers and Sister in Congo suffer because of ther bad way to govrn then Rwanda is growing up.No one tolk like our Congolese guys.IT IS SHAME

by: James Ruei Majok from: Unity state Bentiu
November 19, 2012 5:02 AM
Isarael must figt Hamas if HAMAS LIKE FIGHTING

by: James
November 19, 2012 4:35 AM
Mende is just a warmonger and a rumour, everyother time he talks and dreams of rwanda. Let DRC gvt find a lasting solution to its internal conflicts and stop using a scapegoat of outsiders for your failures

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