North Kivu: lull calm in Sake after a day under high tension

North Kivu: lull calm in Sake after a day under high tension

The fighting between the D.R Congo army and the M23 rebels in the city of Sake, in the territory of Masisi in the province of North Kivu (in the east of the DRC) created a general fear on THURSDAY. Since Friday, the situation has returned to normalcy. Residents are beginning to return to the neighborhoods while activities are resuming timidly. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

According to local civil society, security has been reinforced. Nduwayo, civil society rapporteur in Sake says that the population has started to return to the city since the evening of this Thursday. The law enforcement elements have also been reinforced.

“Since yesterday evening residents are returning and many are those who had fled towards Shasha and Minova to the territory of Kalehe in the neighboring province of South Kivu. Currently there is a movement of the population here in Sake but the activities are resuming with timidity”, affirmed this activist of the civil society of Sake.

He also specifies that the clashes between the loyalist army and the M23 rebels are taking place some 8 kilometers from Sake.

“The FARDC are in the midst of fighting with the M23 rebels in Karenga, 8 kilometers from here. We have confidence in our FARDC soldiers who, until then, have reassured us that they want to recover the entities occupied by the enemy for a while,” say local administrative officials.

And to add: “We ask the population not to panic of any kind and to trust the FARDC soldiers. Let’s also avoid sharing rumors because this risks putting us in a chaotic situation”.

Same story with the army. His spokesperson calls on the population to calm down and to trust the security agents.

“We reassure our population that the FARDC are indeed on the front line and our objective is to repel the enemy and bring him back from where he came. Our army remains the only army to defend its populations”, reassures Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the province of North Kivu.

This Thursday, the city of Sake was the scene of clashes which caused the massive displacement of the population.

This displacement began in the morning hours following violent clashes between the FARDC and M23 rebels in the area.

The FARDC command in North Kivu quickly reinforced the elements in this area in order to reassure the inhabitants of the determination of the loyalist army to defeat the M23.

Some residents met in the village of Mubambiro, a village located two kilometers from Sake, say they are afraid. And despite the lull, residents say they still do not understand what is happening.

“We have brave FARDC soldiers who are supposed to secure us and protect the integrity of the national territory, but we don’t understand how the enemy remains in a position of strength against the loyalist army and that makes us uncomfortable. We ask that efforts of all kinds be made to rout the rebels of the M23”, lament the Congolese of Sake who confided in SOS Médias Burundi.

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