In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a team of emissaries
would be meeting reneged army General Laurent
Nkunda today (Friday) following intense fighting between the rebels and
government forces. The rebel National Congress for the Defense of the Congolese People
(CNDP) is accusing President Joseph Kabila's government of attacking its
positions in the restive North Kivu Province, which led to the latest fighting.
But the government dismissed the accusation saying it was the rebels who
attacked government troops without provocation.
believe the latest round of clashes could
potentially undermine the recently signed ceasefire between the rebels and the
government. Jack Kahora is the VOA correspondent. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey from Goma near North Kivu province that Congolese are scared of the
insecurity generated by the latest clashes.
two parties have been fighting, but the fighting which occurred Thursday
morning was the most intense since the ceasefire was signed in January. In fact
there is a village called Kanumbe that is where the two groups fought Thursday
morning. The two parties are accusing each other of having launched the
hostilities, but up to now the situation is still unclear who begun the
hostilities," Kahora pointed out.
said the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo would soon
be investigating the hostilities to ascertain what happened.
(UN Mission in DRC) is expected to launch investigations and to establish the
responsibility between the two belligerents," he said.
said there has been ongoing clashes between the government and rebel groups in
the restive North Kivu Province, which he said has gone un-noticed
is not the first time there are clashes between the two groups. But most of the
time when there is a fight, there is the intervention of international
community, which is involved in the process, but also MONUC, which also tries
to approach the two parties. So, there is hope that obviously the two
facilitators are going to be involved again and approach the tow parties I'm
sure that the CNDP and the government are going to be called and so they can
come together and sit together and try to negotiate," Kahora noted.
said there is an emissary that would meet the rebel leader today (Friday) to
ascertain his side of the story.
have heard that there is a mission which is expected to go to meet Nkunda's
side this Friday morning. And this is to show that maybe this is a way of
trying to talk to him and understand what his problem is and how he thinks the
situation can be solved," he said.
said although the situation is unstable there it could still be salvaged.
situation is still a bit confusing somehow because there is sometimes no
goodwill from both sides either from the CNDP or from the side of the
government. It may seem as if each party is trying to focus on the opposition
or his view and forget the rest of the population, which is suffering," Kahora
said the insecurity is so bad farmers are unable to go to their farms to grow
food for their families.
local people have not gone to their fields, they could have already produced
six time what they usually produce, but they are unable to have access to their
farms and they are just dying of hunger in the IDP (internally Displaced
Persons) camps. This is really a situation, which is very dramatically unfortunate,
and it seems as if the belligerents don't see the situation as a serious
problem, but they are still entrenched in their position and are accusing each
other. This is really a serous problem here in north Kivu," he pointed out.
clashes were reportedly among the worst outbreaks of direct fighting between
the rebels and the army since Congo signed a peace deal with more than a dozen
armed groups in North and South Kivu provinces in January.
January peace accord, which is a U.S. and EU-backed attempt to end a year of
sporadic violence has struggled since the very beginning.