M23 Rebels At The Gates Of Goma

cure geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%; text-align: justify;”>Led by Colonels Sultan Makenga and Mboneza, prescription the rebels say they will capture the provincial town before sunset.

They decried the use of attack helicopters by UN to hit their positions and “killing our comrades.”

The latest developments signal a worsening security and humanitarian crisis in DRC.

“We are not turning back. It’s no retreat, no surrender. The FARDC are fleeing but we shall pursue them until we capture Goma,” a source in M23 told Chimpreports.

One of the M23 commanders

The breakout of a fresh war between M23 rebels and DRC forces has compelled Uganda to call a special Inter Ministerial meeting on Monday in Kampala.

Ministers from DRC, Rwanda and other countries in the Great Lakes region will discuss the causes of the recent clashes that have left thousands of refugees fleeing to Rwanda and also devise ways of returning sanity to the war-torn eastern part of Congo.

The renewed fighting which broke out on Thursday morning near Goma, the provincial town of Kivu, followed a three-month ceasefire.

DRC forces reportedly attacked M23 positions located in the town of Rugari, 30 km north of the city of Goma.

UN troops have attacked M23 positions

M23 President, Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga, said “many troops backed by armored units of government forces stormed several of our positions in this locality,” which compelled them to fire back as a defensive measure.

“The command of the Congolese Revolutionary Army (new name for M23) was clearly instructed by the Political Movement of 23 March to respond vigorously to the attacks of the enemy and push as far as possible, which is presently outstanding,” said Runiga.

He maintained that “current developments on the front line” should not surprise anyone considering that on November 9, the Governor of North Kivu threatened to “crush the forces of M23 if they do not disarm in 14 days.”

The renewed violence has come at a tremendous human cost to the Congolese population with damaging consequences to relations between DRC and her neighbours.

M23 troops heading to Goma

It’s claimed 113 rebels have been killed in the skirmishes since Thursday, reports M23 vehemently denies.

Regional leaders have been gathering in Kampala since June to find a lasting solution to the fighting under the chairmanship of President Yoweri Museveni.

They also put in place a committee of Defence Ministers to assess the situation with the view to mobilize a neutral force to crush all militants in the region to restore peace.

Congo accuses Rwanda and Uganda of fomenting trouble in the region by giving political and military support to the rebels.

The two countries deny the accusations, saying they are not beneficiaries of the conflict.

It’s important to note that fighting broke out in the wee hours of Thursday, just a day after the United Nations slapped sanctions and froze assets belonging to Gen Sultan Makenga, the M23 military commander.

Excited M23 rebels say Goma will fall tonite

Uganda’s decision to close Bunagana due to pressure from DRC also reportedly infuriated the rebels who believe this was aimed at starving the Congolese who benefit from cross border trade.

“DRC intends to starve Congolese in Bunagana so that the affected people can rise up in arms against the rebels. This is why the M23 have decided to take the war to Goma.”

Rwanda has since called for a ceasefire.

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