News / Africa

UN Combat Brigade Fires on Congo Rebel Positions

A Congolese government tank patrols in Kanyarucinya village in the outskirts of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, August 22, 2013.
A Congolese government tank patrols in Kanyarucinya village in the outskirts of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, August 22, 2013.
Reuters
A new U.N. combat brigade formed to try to neutralize armed groups in Congo by force if needed fired artillery at M23 rebels menacing the eastern border city of Goma anew, U.N. and Congolese military officers said on Friday.
 
It was the brigade's first clash with M23 in support of government forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. force, composed of Tanzanian, South African and Malawian soldiers, was created by the U.N. Security Council in March.
 
Fighting entered a third successive day near Goma, a city of about a million people on the Rwandan border, after a relative lull in the 18-month-old M23 rebellion. Goma was briefly seized by the M23 last year and the United Nations pledged in July to prevent the rebels from getting back within range of the city.
 
But the rebels this week entered a security zone ringing Goma that had been established by the robustly-mandated U.N. Intervention Brigade earlier this month, and at least two people were killed when three shells landed in the city center.
 
U.N. Lieutenant-Colonel Felix Basse said another M23 shell crashed near Munigi on Goma's outskirts, where a U.N. peacekeepers' base is located, causing some civilian casualties.
 
“Of course we responded with artillery, as we cannot accept any threat to the population. That's why we retaliated,” he told Reuters by telephone from Goma.
 
Clashes between M23 and the Congolese army continued early on Friday with government forces repelling two rebel assaults, according to Colonel Olivier Hamuli, spokesman for the Congolese army, known as FARDC. “The (U.N.) brigade is engaged on our side, they're supporting us with their artillery,” he said.
 
Basse could not confirm further brigade involvement in Friday's fighting.
 
An M23 spokesman did not confirm on Friday that they had been fired on by U.N. peacekeeping troops and said the group was trying to avoid direct clashes with them.
 
“It's not just the brigade we're trying to avoid fighting but the FARDC too ... If the army carries on attacking us we're going to defend ourselves,” Amani Kabash said. “The army has got tanks and helicopters and they haven't pushed us back at all. That's why they're crying for MONUSCO to help.”
 
A South African military spokesman said the country's troops in Congo had not clashed with M23. “The fight is taking place near where our troops are positioned. We have a defensive line but we have not engaged,” Siphiwe Dlamini said.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid