News / Africa

Rebels, Army Clash in Eastern DRC

M23 rebels sit in a vehicle as they withdraw from the eastern Congo town of Goma, Dec. 1, 2012 (file photo).
M23 rebels sit in a vehicle as they withdraw from the eastern Congo town of Goma, Dec. 1, 2012 (file photo).
Nick Long
There is renewed fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between the M23 rebels and the government army.  It's the first major clashes between the two sides since the rebels withdrew from the city of Goma last year. .   

Both sides are blaming each other for starting the fighting early on Monday.  The clashes, 12 kilometers north of Goma, have been intense, with aircraft bombarding the M23 who, according to civilians, have been pushed back.

A steady stream of civilians began heading south towards Goma during the morning.  Hardly any soldiers could be seen among them, and civilians told VOA the army has been advancing.

Among the civilians evacuating the war zone was Mariana Bigaruka, a high school student.

"I went to school at 6 a.m., I could hear gunfire and could see aircraft flying over firing missiles," said Bigaruka.

She said civilians initially took refuge at a base of the U.N. peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, but the peacekeepers advised civilians to move further towards Goma.  

The fighting went on until late afternoon, she said.

"The FARDC or government army has been advancing, pushing back the M23.  This is very encouraging," she said.

The last round of heavy fighting between the government forces and the rebels, in November, started with a rebel offensive, which was pushed back by the army with support from MONUSCO aircraft.

But in the five days of fighting that followed, the rebels broke through several lines of defense and the army retreated from Goma.

Peace talks between the government and the rebels have broken down since the announcement in March that the U.N. would deploy an intervention brigade in the region.  The force, made up of regional soldiers, is authorized to attack eastern Congo's many armed groups.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is visiting the Great Lakes region this week, including a stop in Congo's capital Kinshasa on Wednesday.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs