m23 rebels under miltary strategic meeting inside their conquered territory

M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo engaged in heavy clashes with rival militias on Thursday, local sources said, in the latest violence to hit the troubled region.

The M23 has taken over a vast territory in North Kivu province in recent months and advanced towards its capital Goma.

Fighting between the M23 and opposing armed groups broke out in the Tongo area of North Kivu’s Rutshuru territory on Thursday, according to locals.

Dominique Ndaruhutse, the self-proclaimed general of the CMC/FDP militia, also confirmed the clashes and said 13 members of the M23 had been killed.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll.

“We took up arms to defend the territorial integrity of our country and we will never accept being slaves,” said Jules Mulumba, a spokesman for a coalition of armed groups that includes the CMC/FDP.

He added that he thought the M23 aimed to advance towards the town of Kitshanga, which lies about 125 kilometres (77 miles) to the west of Goma, in a bid to cut off the city.

The M23 resumed fighting in late 2021 after lying dormant for years, accusing the Congolese government of failing to honour a deal to integrate its fighters into the army.

A rebel advance in late October blocked the main highway leading north out of Goma, a commercial hub of more than one million people, and pushed hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

An assortment of armed groups — of which there are more than 120 in eastern DRC — have lately led the fight against the M23.

The DRC has accused its smaller central African neighbour Rwanda of backing the M23, which Kigali denies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.