Masisi: the localities fall one by one into the hands of the M23

Masisi: the localities fall one by one into the hands of the M23

The Mushaki zone fell into the hands of the M23 on Friday, residents and a spokesman for the loyalist army say. They also suggested the area was conquered after violent fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels on the same day. Hostilities had however ceased Thursday after a day of intense fighting. Residents continue to flee to Sake. Mushaki fell to the rebels after almost all the territory of Rutshuru was conquered by the rebellion as well as part of that of Nyiragongo. These are areas located in the province of North Kivu in the east of the vast Central African country. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The clashes resumed around 5 a.m. local time on Friday in the high mountains of Malehe. The FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) allegedly attacked the positions of the M23 which responded in turn.

“The M23 has controlled the city of Mushaki since Friday,” said a resident of Mushununu.

Several local sources testify that the Congolese army entrenched itself at the high hill of Muremure, near Karuba, about 15 kilometers from the city of Sake.

“After the capture of Mushaki by the M23, the FARDC did not go any further. They are on the hill of Muremure here in Karuba where they control the situation”, testified a resident of Karuba.

In a communication, Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kayiko, spokesman for the FARDC in North Kivu province, confirmed the capture of Mushaki by the rebels.

He wanted to “reassure the population of Masisi and North Kivu in general that the situation remains under control”.

“The FARDC are determined to recover the villages captured by the enemy in a few days,” he tried to console.

In the city of Mushaki, a precarious calm reigns there.

In a statement of this Friday, the dynamics of the women of the mines of the province of North Kivu, FEDEM condemned the capture of Mushaki by the rebels.

Angélique Nyirasafari, its president was worried about the progress of the rebels.

“It is deplorable to see the M23 progressing every day without being worried. We have always shown our full support to the FARDC and we come back to ask them to put the enemy in the DRC out of harm’s way. Activities in the mines are paralyzed. However, many inhabitants of Masisi live thanks to agriculture and the mining trade, especially in Rubaya,” she said.

Fear reigns in the population of the city of Goma, capital of North Kivu.

“The Goma-Masisi road that supplies the capital of North Kivu with food risks being cut by the rebels,” residents fear.

The mining city of Rubaya is reportedly targeted by the rebels after the capture of Mushaki and Kitshanga.

Hostilities continue to be reported in North Kivu despite repeated calls for calm and a ceasefire from leaders in the sub-region and the presence of a regional EAC force in this region of Congo.

This force and Monusco (Mission of the United Nations organization in the DRC) are decried by some Congolese actors who accuse them of being “ineffective, accomplices and biased”.

The M23 is a former Tutsi rebellion which took up arms again at the end of 2021 accusing the Congolese authorities of not having respected its commitments on the reintegration of its fighters. The Congolese authorities remain convinced that it enjoys the support of Rwanda, which the Rwandan government continues to rule out

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