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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid