News / Africa

M23 Rebels Enter Eastern Congo City

People flee as fighting erupts between the M23 rebels and Congolese army near the airport in Goma, November 19, 2012.
People flee as fighting erupts between the M23 rebels and Congolese army near the airport in Goma, November 19, 2012.
Nick Long
The rebel group M23 has entered the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, continuing their advance against government and United Nations troops. The rebels say they have taken the airport and witnesses say they are near the city center.
 
After days of fighting, M23 rebels have succeeded in their drive against the Congolese army and U.N. peacekeepers and advanced into the capital of North Kivu province.
 
While the exact situation in Goma is fluid, all accounts say that the rebels are gaining ground.

Democratic Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
x
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
M23 making advances

Some residents and several journalists confirm M23’s claim to have taken the airport, on the eastern side of the town. Journalists say the rebels also have captured one of the two main border crossings from Goma to Rwanda, also on the eastern side of town.
 
Congo analyst Thierry Vircoulon of the International Crisis Group said the situation is taking a dire turn for the worse.
 
“My feeling is that the city is about to fall and we’ll know that during the course of the day, that’s for sure," said Vircoulon. "And there have been exchanges of fire between Rwanda and the DRC, which means we may not be very far from an open conflict between the two countries.”
 
U.N. radio in the DRC, Radio Okapi, reports that mortar rounds apparently fired from Rwanda killed four people Monday in Goma and wounded several others.

  • A Congolese Revolution Army rebel, wearing a belt of ammunition, walks down a street in Goma, DRC, soon after the rebels captured the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.
  • A United Nations helicopter flies over Lake Kivu as M23 rebels walk along the shore in the city of Goma, November 20, 2012.
  • People flee as fighting erupts between the M23 rebels and Congolese army near the airport in Goma, DRC, November 19, 2012.
  • A student from the Architecture and Urbanism institute holds a sign protesting against civil unrest outside of their university in Kinshasa. The sign reads: "Too much is too much. What do you want with the Congo."
  • A United Nations armored personnel carrier patrols through the city of Goma following the sound of shell fire and gunshots, November 19, 2012.
  • Congolese Revolution Army rebels walk down a street in Goma, soon after capturing the city from the government army, November 20, 2012.

 
DRC government accuses Rwanda


Tuesday’s fighting comes after the government refused a rebel demand to negotiate, saying it would be pointless without involving Rwanda.  The DRC accuses of Rwanda of providing arms and troops in support of M23 - allegations that Kigali continually has denied.
 
DRC M23 Rebels:

  • M23 fighters were once loyal to a rebel army that assimilated into the national army of Congo in a 2009 peace deal
  • Hundreds of former rebel army members mutinied earlier this year, complaining that the government had not fulfilled promises of better pay and weapons
  • From the mutineers, the M23 - named for the March 23, 2009 peace deal - emerged
  • A U.N. report said there are indications the rebels are getting outside aid. U.N. experts say Rwanda and Uganda are backing M23. Both Countries deny this
  • The U.N. Security Council is considering sanctions on M23 leaders and has demanded an end to "all outside support" of the group
  • Experts say a driving force behind the regional conflict are deposits of tin, gold, tungsten, and coltan, a mineral used in laptops and mobile phones in eastern Congo, where M23 operates
There are signs the escalating violence is causing problems for the Congolese government.
 
A leading opposition politician, Vital Kamehre - who came third in the presidential elections last year - has called on DRC President Joseph Kabila to negotiate with M23 to end the conflict and threats to the civilian population.

Opposition calls for negotiations

Up until now, the DRC’s opposition parties generally have agreed with the government’s position of rejecting talks with the rebels.
 
Goma was effectively controlled by a rebel movement until 2004, when the rebels were loosely integrated into the Congolese army. Most members of M32 are former soldiers who defected in April, claiming discrimination and poor treatment by the government.  

The DRC and Rwanda have fought several wars - the last one during the Congolese civil war, which ended in 2003.
 
International concern is growing, with France preparing a draft resolution to slap sanctions on the rebels and possibly any elements supporting them. It could be adopted as early as this week.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Malkus from: Phoenix, AZ
November 20, 2012 1:56 PM
I wonder why things like this don't fill the news and cause mass outrage across the USA. Murder, child rape, child soldiers, but people would rather have riots because they think rich people should give them more money that they worked for. Pathetic.

by: Shane
November 20, 2012 11:08 AM
What country from the UN is currently in Congo?

by: Samuel Clark from: Kigali
November 20, 2012 10:25 AM
Strange how in this article Rwanda is portrayed as the aggressor when this is actual report from US Embassy today: The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens to reports of three deaths
resulting from the November 19 artillery fire into the Rubavu district
of Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs