News / Africa

Army Says Pushing Back M23 Rebels in Eastern Congo

FILE - Congolese government army soldiers ride on their truck as they patrol Kibati village outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, DRC.
FILE - Congolese government army soldiers ride on their truck as they patrol Kibati village outside the eastern Congolese city of Goma, DRC.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The Congolese army said it made significant advances against eastern rebel forces in a second day of fierce fighting on Saturday and called on neighboring Rwanda to help disarm the insurgents.

The army clashed with M23 rebels for the first time in two months on Friday after peace talks in Uganda broke down this week. Rwanda accused the army of firing a shell into its territory, sparking fears that its military might intervene.

M23 said in a statement on Saturday that the army had launched a “generalized attack” on several fronts, but said the fighting was turning in its favor.

Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli said, however, that M23 had been forced out of Kibumba, a town some 20 km (13 miles) north of Goma, the largest city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We have pushed M23 into the hills on the Rwandan border,” he told a Reuters reporter near the frontline. “We now call on Rwanda to help us disarm their fighters.”

United Nations investigators have accused Rwanda of supporting M23, charges that Kigali denies.

Hamuli said the army was also advancing from Rwindi, north of M23-controlled territory in Congo's North Kivu province, attacking the rebel group in a pincher movement.

M23 formed in early 2012 when army soldiers mutinied, saying the government had broken a 2009 peace deal signed with a previous Rwanda-backed rebel movement.

On Friday, Rwanda said shells fired by the Congolese army landed in its territory. Rwanda's U.N. ambassador told a closed-door meeting of the Security Council it would not tolerate such shelling and could respond militarily, diplomats said.

The fighting is the most serious since late August, when the Congolese army and a new U.N. Intervention Brigade forced M23 from positions just north of Goma. The brigade, made up mostly of South African and Tanzanian soldiers, has a mandate to take on and destroy armed groups in eastern Congo.

On-off peace talks between the government and M23, taking place in the Ugandan capital Kampala since December, stalled on Monday, with the government saying it would not offer rebel leaders a blanket amnesty.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUSCO) said on Friday it was on high alert and monitoring the clashes. MONUSCO aircraft flew over the region but South African and Tanzanian troops present near the frontline did not join the combat.

A U.N. spokesman in New York said some 5,000 civilians had fled across the border into Rwanda.

In a joint statement, U.N. special envoy to the Great Lakes region Mary Robinson and head of MONUSCO Martin Kobler urged restraint and called on both sides to return to the negotiating table in Kampala.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 26, 2013 8:48 PM
It is amazing the UN/SADC/DRC can be fooled by rebels that they are actually interested in peace talks led by their backers in Kampala who only have a record of peace jokes and have never followed any peace talks with their own citizens! SADC& UN need to wake up fast and chase the militias of the Rwanda & Uganda regimes completely out of DRC or disarm them. Also Rwanda needs a strong warning from the UN to stop causing regional turmoil with her belligerence, whining and excuses to attack, plunder and cause suffering to the population and a shame to the region

In Response

by: Pontiac from: Atlanta, Gorgia
October 28, 2013 9:19 PM
Rwanda is a bad regime with a big dictator more than A. Hitler. Why he receives International community's support? Go Fardc and we have a dream to go one day in Kigali

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid