News / Africa

Fighting Resumes Outside Goma in DRC

Congolese government troops ride armored vehicles toward the front line, near the eastern city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 17, 2013.
Congolese government troops ride armored vehicles toward the front line, near the eastern city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 17, 2013.
Nick Long
— After a three-week lull, heavy fighting has resumed outside Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. M23 rebels and the DRC army blame each other for renewing hostilities. The battle began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday.

These are the first major hostilities between the government army and M23 since the army bombed the rebels’ headquarters last month. Between July 15 and 19, the army succeeded in driving the rebels back four or five kilometers from Goma - a key city on the border with Rwanda. Many civilians in Goma reacted angrily when this apparently successful offensive was called off and a fragile truce was reinstated.

An army spokesman, Colonel Olivier Hamuli, said the rebels started the fighting Wednesday evening and attacked again early Thursday morning, but without success.

He said the army had the upper hand and was fighting with artillery and small arms but has not deployed helicopters.

He denied reports from the M23 that bombs are landing in civilian-occupied areas at Kayanja, in the rebel-held zone.

Hamuli said that there were no civilians in the zone, just soldiers, so there wouldn’t be any collateral damage.

An M23 spokesman, Kabasha Amani, accused the government of provoking the hostilities before Wednesday evening.

He said rebels saw the government was massing troops near M23 positions and making small incursions even before fighting intensified Wednesday.

A civilian living near the combat zone, Dr. Isaac Warwanamiza, said the army appeared to be making some progress.

He said the army has advanced toward the M23 positions and the front line has moved as far as the Kibati mosque, nearly a kilometer north of where it was earlier on Wednesday.

Rebel spokesman Kabasha conceded government forces have been moving forward.

He said he thought the army would continue to bombard the rebels and then advance through Thursday, but he vowed M23's fighters would hold their ground.

Kabasha called on DRC President Joseph Kabila to return to peace talks at Kampala, which have proceeded in fits and starts since last December.

Congolese media report that the new head of the UN mission in Congo has said he wants the mission to be closer to local people in areas plagued by armed groups.

That could mean the mission will give more direct backing to the government against the M23, who appear to have little popular support.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid