News / Africa

DRC Says 120 Rebels Killed in East

Congolese government army FARDC soldiers walk towards the frontline where they are fighting against M23 rebels outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 14, 2013.
Congolese government army FARDC soldiers walk towards the frontline where they are fighting against M23 rebels outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 14, 2013.
Nick Long
— The Democratic Republic of Congo says its forces have killed 120 rebels and captured another dozen in fighting in North Kivu province.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said Monday that about 10 army soldiers have died in the fighting north of Goma, the provincial capital.

The United Nations mission in Congo says it started Sunday when the M23, which holds territory near Goma, attacked government troops near the towns of Mutaho and Rusayo.

Inhabitants of a village in the eastern DRC say they saw armed men in women's clothing enter the country from Rwanda on Sunday, shortly before fighting broke out near their village. The fighting continued Monday eight kilometers north of Goma, a city on the Congolese-Rwandan border.

This was the first heavy fighting at the front lines between government forces and the rebel group M23 since late May.

Many civilians in the rebel zone fled to the government side just before the fighting started. A farmer, Bifumbo Ruhira, said he left his home in the rebel zone when he saw more than 100 combatants arrive in his village early Sunday.

He said he saw many soldiers on board two trucks, and they were wearing women’s shawls over their uniforms. One of them told the villagers they were Rwandan soldiers and they had come from Rwanda as reinforcements.

The trucks stopped on the Rwandan side of the border, he said, and the combatants had run across.

Another villager, Baraki Murefu, confirmed his account, saying the combatants were wearing shawls as women wear them. It was a disguise so that people would not see they were soldiers, he said, and he noted they were heading to the northern side of Mutaho, where the M23 were positioned.

He said the fighting started shortly afterwards.

An M23 spokesman, Vianney Kazarama, denied the rebels had started the fighting and dismissed the story about armed men disguised as women.

"No, no, no," he said. "That is the Congolese culture. They like rumors."

He added that he does not know about the comings and goings at the frontier.

At the front, the M23 appears to be outgunned by the Congolese army.

That was the M23 firing, according to local journalists Sylvain Muyali and Mustapha Matabaro. Most of the mortar and rocket fire appeared to be coming from the government side

It is the Congolese army that is firing now, said Muyali.

If we go further, we will be in front of their position," said Matabaro. "At that point we turned back."

"Back on the main road, the Congolese army was moving up reinforcements. Three tanks and eight troop carriers and jeeps raced past us," said said Matabaro. "These were significant reinforcements for the army, and others were moving up through the day.   

The M23 force is thought to be comprised of about 2,000 fighters.

Army colonel Jacky Zeng had a theory about why the M23 had launched the attack. "They do not want to be forgotten," he said. "They are reminding us they exist."

It may have been a costly reminder. The government spokesman Lambert Mende has said the rebels suffered about 120 casualties on Sunday, while government forces suffered six or seven.

Peace talks between the government and M23 in Kampala stalled again last week.

Local sources said the government troops advanced Monday to attack Kibati, the village in the M23 zone where the farmer Ruhira said he saw armed men in women’s clothing.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid