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Fresh Clashes Between Army, Rebels in Eastern DRC



Clashes between soldiers and the M23 rebel group have erupted for a second day in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.N. mission in Congo says the fighting is taking place in the North Kivu province region. In a VOA interview, a MONUSCO spokesman said the unrest resumed late Saturday following a period of calm earlier in the day.

The fighting broke out just days after peace talks between the government and M23 broke down.

The talks in Uganda were suspended on Monday after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on amnesty for the rebels and their reintegration into the armed forces.

The Congolese army and M23 accuse each other of launching the first attacks.

M23 consists of rebel fighters who joined the Congolese army in a 2009 peace deal but later defected, saying they were treated poorly and the government did not live up to the deal.

Last year, the group took over territory in North Kivu province and briefly seized Goma, the provincial capital.

In another development, MONUSCO says at least 34 civilians, including 20 children, have been killed in a series of attacks in North Kivu province.

In a Saturday statement, MONUSCO says the attacks were launched over the past few weeks by "elements" of Mai-Mai Sheka and Raiia Mutomboki, two other armed militia groups active in the region.



The U.N. mission says its investigations have helped to confirm extra-judicial mass executions of civilians, including children, and other human rights violations. MONUSCO says there must be consequences for the "atrocities."

North Kivu and nearby provinces have endured years of fighting between the government and various militia and rebel groups. Much of the fighting is over control of the area's rich mines.

U.N. experts have accused Rwanda and Uganda of supporting M23, an allegation both nations deny.







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