Dr. Congo Fighting: Army Captures Eastern Strongholds of M23 Rebels Movement / Africa News


The Congolese army has captured a very strategic area of the fearful M23 Rebel Movement in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The military success in Rumangabo followed the capture of four other areas – Kiwanja, Rutshuru, Buhumba and Kibumba – since the weekend.

The rebels abandoned their key military and what is believed to be their last base on Monday after four consecutive days of fighting with the Congolese army baked by United Nations Peacekeeping Force.

A UN peacekeeper from Tanzania was killed on Sunday and the Rwandan government has also reported that two of its citizens had been killed by the Congolese army strikes.

The United Nation’s Security Council issued a statement that: “It condemned in the strongest terms the attacks by M23 rebel group” that claimed the life of a Tanzanian peacekeeper.

“They also expressed their condolences for the loss of civilian lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Rwanda following shells landing on its territory,” it said.

The UN’s special envoy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Martin Kobler told the Security Council on Monday that M23 had abandoned most military positions in the east and was confined to a small triangle close to the Rwandan border.

“It is practically the military end of the M23, So I think it’s a positive development of course and there was a general agreement that now we should go back to the table of negotiation in Kampala.”

This victory by the government forces backed by the new UN intervention brigade has boosted belief that the Congolese army could finally end the 20-month insurgency which has displaced tens of thousands of people in the mineral-rich area in Central Africa.

But local reporters say the rebels have said that they deliberately abandoned their base for strategic reason.

Lawrence Kanyuka, deputy spokesman for M23, told the Reuters African Service on telephone that the rebels withdrew overnight from Rumangabo, a former Congolese army base they seized last year

“This is not the first time we have withdrawn. It’s not the end of the line for us,” Kanyuka said, denying reports that some M23 leaders had fled to Rwanda. “We’re still in Congo. We’re Congolese. We’re fighting for our land and our survival.”

At least 800,000 people have fled their homes in DR Congo since the M23 launched its rebellion in April 2012, the UN humanitarian agency.


Eastern DR Congo has been wracked by conflict since 1994, when Hutu militias fled across the border from Rwanda after carrying out genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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