DRC: the M23 is still extending its grips

DRC: the M23 is still extending its grips

The M23 rebels now occupy the city of Bihambwe, nearly three kilometers from Rubaya, a mining town in Masisi territory in North Kivu, eastern DRC. Bihambwe fell under the control of the rebels after intense fighting on Tuesday which opposed them to a militias called reservists. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Bihambwe residents fled to Mema, others to Rubaya.

“The M23 is in Bihambwe after fighting in Kaundu and Buhumba near Kabaya. We are fleeing towards Mema but we are not sure of our safety because we see the M23 keeps progressing,” said a resident of Bihambwe.

According to Gervais Hakizimana, president of the Rubaya civil society, the residents of several villages neighboring Bihambwe and Mema are in great fear.

“They fear fighting that may break out in these villages in the coming hours,” he said.

According to him, Rubaya is more targeted by the M23

“Currently, the M23 is occupying the center of Bihambwe. This causes fear in the population of Rubaya because it is a mining town of Masisi. We believe authorities must seek the most lasting security mechanisms to stop the progress of the rebels. We don’t know where to go because they are occupying the Rubaya, Mushaki road towards the city of Goma,” he insisted.

In addition, the M23 rebels launched offensives early Wednesday morning in several localities and groupments in the Bashali chiefdom in the southern part of Masisi territory.

Local civil society indicates that the M23 rebels have regained control of part of the city of Mweso, commonly known as Bushanga, occupied for more than three weeks by the Nyatura and Mai-Mai militias.

“Clashes resumed in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The M23 rebels were the first to launch attacks against self-defense groups in the city of Mweso and the surrounding area,” said Ambroise Dunia, president of civil society in the Bashali chiefdom.

He also indicated that the population is fleeing to neighboring localities, under the control of EAC forces, deployed in the area, particularly Burungu and Kilolirwe.

The EAC regional forces have deployed in certain localities of the Bashali chiefdom to occupy areas liberated by the M23.

Hostilities continue despite a ceasefire in force after its agreement between the Congolese government and the rebellion.

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