North Kivu: the FARDC announce progress on the ground without giving results

North Kivu: the FARDC announce progress on the ground without giving results

Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) announced that they had foiled several attacks by the March 23 Movement (M23) and “its ally, the Rwandan army in Kibumba”, in the territory of Nyiragongo, in the province of Nord- Kivu in the east of the DRC about 20 kilometers from the city of Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu. It is the FARDC spokesperson in the province who announced it on Monday in Goma. But rebels for their part say they are even ready to confront the regional force if it comes to “disturb” them. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Lieutenant-Colonel Ndjike Kaiko Guillaume, spokesperson for Sokola 2 operations, indicates that the army “pursues the enemy deep into the Virunga National Park (PNVi), in Rutshuru territory where it occupies a large part of the territory”.

“On Sunday, the M23 and the Rwandan army attacked one of our posts and they faced the firepower of the FARDC. The enemy suffered a lot of losses. At present, we’re attacking them in depth. They are retreating. The army’s objective is to bring this aggression back to where it came from”, the army spokesman in the region told reporters. But he did not give detailed results.

He also added that the fighting between the FARDC and the M23 rebels is currently concentrated in the PNVi (Virunga National Park).

In addition, Lieutenant-Colonel Ndjike indicated that troops at the fronts received a comforting visit from the Deputy-Commander of the 3rd Defense Zone in charge of operations, General Kyamasa Mutupeke, last Sunday, which have reportedly boosted the troops’ morale of the troops.

“While clashes between the Congolese army and M23 rebels continue in Rutshuru territory, the arrival of Kenyan troops could be a game-changer on the ground”, said the Congolese army spokesman.

Military sources maintain that this force comes in a purely offensive mission. At least 900 Kenyan soldiers arrived in Goma last Saturday as part of the operations of the regional force decided by EAC heads of state at the end of June in Nairobi (capital of Kenya).

The spokesperson for the operational sector Sokola 2/Nord-Kivu, affirms that Kenyan troops will be under the command of the FARDC.

“These forces are there in order to respond to the will of the Heads of State who met in Nairobi. They are here so that, with the FARDC, we can defeat M23 rebels and other different armed groups that are causing insecurity in this region. Other contingents are coming. Kenya’s friends are there on a purely offensive mission”, Colonel Ndjike said.

For his part, Colonel Oscar Obiero, spokesman of Kenyan troops, explained that “you can never sleep when it’s burning at your neighbour’s house. We came to fight against insecurity in eastern DRC”.

“If your neighbor has a problem, you must bring him assistance. That’s why we are here. Our mission is to stabilize the region”, the regional force officer told the press.

In addition to the offensive, Kenyan forces will also intervene in humanitarian assistance to protect the populations.

To restore peace in eastern DRC, several diplomatic initiatives are being considered.

Last weekend, Major Willy Ngoma, spokesman for the M23 declared that “we are ready to defend ourselves if Kenyan soldiers attack us because we are there to protect ourselves and protect our people”. He said he hoped the regional force would not launch attacks against the M23.

Congolese authorities continue to accuse Rwanda of supporting the rebels, allegations that the Rwandan government continues to brush aside.

Speaking in “Unity Club”, a forum of Rwandan leaders and their wives created by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, President Paul Kagame said last Saturday that “I will not attack anyone, but if someone dares to come and attack me here at home, he will see what wood I am warming up”, without however mentioning Congo.

This Tuesday afternoon, several displaced people from Kanyaruchinya, some seven kilometers from the city of Goma, left their camp and went to the provincial capital.

No details on the causes of the panic were given. Some sources speculate that this is fear caused by the advancement of M23 rebels towards Goma.

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