Masisi: the M23 progressing towards Sake city

Masisi: the M23 progressing towards Sake city

Violent clashes between the FARDC (DRC armed forces) and the M23 armed group are happening in Masisi territory, in the province of North Kivu in eastern Congo. The DR troops are forced out of their strategic points by the rebellion. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

This Monday, two new villages, in the west of the city of Goma (capital of North Kivu), fell in hands of the M23.

Kalake and Tuonane, villages located 7 kilometers from Sake city have been captured by the M23 after heavy fighting on Monday afternoon, local sources said.

The M23 passed through Ruvunda, a village surrounded by cow farms to capture the localities.

“We saw the M23 rebels leaving their positions in the Kamuronza groupment,” a resident told SOS Médias Burundi on Monday evening.

Recently, the M23 took over the city of Kitchanga, roughly 80 kilometers northwest of the capital of North Kivu. The Congolese army is still striving to dislodge the group from this city considered to be strategic.

So far, no communication from the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) on the progress of the rebels on Monday.

The clashes continue despite the call of the Heads of State of the East African community for an end to the violence and an immediate ceasefire, a request which was also expressed by the sovereign pontiff during his recent and first trip to DRC and Africa.

In a press release, the Tutsi rebellion, which took up arms again at the end of 2021, accusing the Congolese authorities of not abiding by its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters, recently resumed hostilities to “protect the Congolese Tutsis targeted by a genocide planned by the Kinshasa government” it said. The Congolese authorities, remain convinced that it’s backed by Rwanda.

In a recent statement, the Congolese army accused Rwanda of deploying elements of its army’s special forces who actually took Kitchanga. The Congolese authorities also accuse Rwanda of “preparing a genocide against the Congolese Tutsi” in order to “find an alibi justifying the sending of its soldiers to invade Congo”.

Relations between the two countries of the Great Lakes of Africa have continued to deteriorate since the resurgence of the M23. Rwanda accuses the Congolese government of “collaborating with the Rwandan genocidaires FDLR by providing them with uniforms, weapons and ammunition” to “destabilize its territory”.

The situation in the east of the vast country of Central Africa continues to deteriorate despite the presence of a regional force and Monusco (Mission of the United Nations organization in the DRC). They are denounced by part of Congolese civil society, politicians and pressure groups who accuse them of being “ineffective and complicit”, because they do not attack the M23. This Monday, they called for a widespread demonstration in the province of North Kivu to “protest against the force of the EAC and Monusco”, which they describe as “spectators and scouts”, who only serve as referees.

“It’s strange, if the M23 decides to take a locality, they end up chasing the FARDC”, analyzes an observer of the Congolese crisis who believes that “the only goal of the rebels is to cut off the city of Goma from the rest of the world and asphyxiate it”.

The rebellion has controlled several areas of North Kivu province since mid-June 2022, including Bunagana, the border city with Uganda.

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