Masisi: resurgence of hostilities between the FARDC and the M23

Masisi: resurgence of hostilities between the FARDC and the M23

Fighting between the FARDC (DRC army) and M23 rebels is going on in several parts of Masisi. After taking several localities of Matanda and Kamuronza groupment in Masisi region, the M23 tried to conquer the strategic center of Mushaki, about forty kilometers from Goma city (capital of the North -Kivu) this Wednesday. Hostilities went on until evening. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The situation is tense since Wednesday morning at the Mushaki center, Matanda groupement, in the chiefdom of Bahunde, Masisi territory.

Sounds of heavy and light weapons were heard in the hills of Mushununu and Malehe, roughly two kilometers from Mushaki, a strategic center located at least 45 km west of the city of Goma (capital of North- Kivu).

“The FARDC were able to thwart the attacks of the enemy who wanted to take this entity of Masisi hostage,” said army spokesman in North Kivu, Lieutenant Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko.

The center of Mushaki remains under the control of the FARDC, he says.

“We had been fighting since the morning and thanks to the professionalism of the loyalist army, we managed to push the enemy away from Mushaki,” insisted the spokesman.

Local sources say the center of Mushaki was automatically emptied of its population.

Some people fled to the Mupfunyi-Karuba groupement, close to Matanda, and others to the city of Sake located 27 km from the city of Goma, still to the west.

“We decided to flee pending the situation return to normalcy. We hope our valiant FARDC will reconquer all the entities that are under the control of the M23 rebels,” a resident of Mushaki met in Sake this wednesay evening told SOS Médias Burundi.

The FARDC spokesman in North Kivu did not give the exact death toll of the violence on the Mushaki axis because the clashes continued were still on Wednesday until evening.

Congolese army fighter jets are also on the front line in the hills of Mushununu, Malehe, Murambi and Ruvunda, according to witnesses.

Also, tensions increase since Wednesday morning in the locality of Kahira in the chiefdom of Bashali in the territory of Masisi following the continued violence between the FARDC and the M23 in the outskirts of Kitshanga and Kibarizo still in same entity. always in the same entity.

According to Innocent Baseme, president of civil society in Kahira, residents have fled to the neighboring sector of Osso Banyungu fearing for their safety.

“The situation is very volatile here at home because 85% of the population of Kahira has just fled to neighboring villages fearing the fighting. We are still in Kahira but under terror,” said Mr. Baseme.

He also added the locality of Kibarizo has come under the control of M23 rebels.

“Right now Kibarizo is under M23 control. And here in Kahira it is the patriotic resistance fighters who control everything. We hope that our valiant FARDC will reconquer the entities currently occupied by the rebels”.

Further fighting has also been reported in the hills of Bigogwe where rebels are attempting to assault FARDC positions around Kibarizo and Kahira.

Since mid-June 2022, the M23 has taken several localities in the province of North Kivu in eastern Congo, including Bunagana, the border town with Uganda. For the past few days, rebels who claim to have violated the ceasefire to “protect the Tutsi minority threatened by a genocide planned by Kinshasa” have been advancing on several fronts, especially in the territories of Masisi, Rutshuru and Nyiragongo in areas not far from of the city of Goma. The former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021 blaming the Congolese authorities of not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters benefits the support of Rwanda, according to the Congolese authorities.

The Rwandan government continues to rule out these allegations and accuses Congolese leaders of collaborating with the Rwandan genocidaires FDLR by providing them with uniforms, weapons and ammunition in order to “destabilize Rwandan territory”. .

The hostilities go on despite several calls, for an end to the violence launched by the leaders of the East African community, including during a summit of the Heads of State of the EAC which took place in the Burundi’s commercial city, Bujumbura earlier this month, a wish also expressed by Pope Francis during his recent visit to Kinshasa.

In the region, the EAC has deployed a regional force there. It has already obtained humanitarian corridors and buffer zones. Some Congolese actors believe that it is “inefficient in the same way as Monusco (Mission of the United Nations organization in the DRC)” and “demands its departure”.

Several demonstrations were organized in different cities of the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu in particular to “denounce it”.

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