News / Africa

Thousands of Congolese Civilians Flee from Renewed Fighting

People ride with their belongings on a wooden bicycle as they flee from renewed fighting between Congolese army and M23 rebels near the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 24, 2012.
People ride with their belongings on a wooden bicycle as they flee from renewed fighting between Congolese army and M23 rebels near the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 24, 2012.
Nick Long
KINSHASA — Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched attacks on positions held by government forces north of Goma. The U.N. mission in the Congo says the Congolese army is responding and U.N. peacekeepers are trying to deter the rebels from inflicting casualties on civilians.

The fighting is again focused on Rutshuru Centre, a town near Lake Edward in North Kivu province, and about 70 km north of Goma.

Commandant Thibaut de Lacoste, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the Congo, MONUSCO, tells VOA that the Congolese army, FARDC, is resisting rebel efforts and the U.N. has reinforced its base in Rutshuru, where it is focusing on its main task.

“As long as the FARDC are still present to ensure the defense of the city, MONUSCO can focus on its main priority of protecting civilians, ensuring they do not suffer collateral damage.  …currently the only action taken by MONUSCO against the M23 is a show of force, to deter the M23 going further and launching any attacks that could threaten civilians. This kind of show of force has been used several times in recent days, yesterday and on 12th July," said de Lacoste.

The commandant says this deterrent show of force can involve MONUSCO helicopters firing live ammunition at the ground in front of advancing rebels to deter them from advancing further.  He notes MONUSCO could - in extreme situations - fire directly at the rebels.

Omar Kavuta, a civil society coordinator for North Kivu, told VOA that regular army units from Uganda as well as Rwanda crossed into Congo last Saturday and have been involved in the fighting.

MONUSCO could not confirm the presence of Ugandan soldiers fighting alongside the M23 rebels.  

Earlier this month, Rwanda and Congo agreed to the deployment of a neutral security force along their border to keep out foreign elements in the fighting.  Despite this, the United States Saturday suspended $200,000 in military training aid to Kigali, citing evidence Rwanda is helping Congolese rebels groups - including M23.

M23 is comprised of former soldiers believed to be loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More