Congo Citizens Flee To Uganda As DR Congo Troops, M23 Rebels Clash In Rutsiro

Fight erupted on Wednesday, June 29, between the troops of the DR Congo national army and rebels of the M23 movement in Rutsiro, Bweza tribal group in Rutshuru territory of North Kivu.

Thousands of civilians have fled to Uganda after clashes between the troops of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national army, FARDC, and rebels of the March 23 (M23) movement entered the second day in Rutsiro, Bweza tribal group in Rutshuru territory of North Kivu.

Fighting between the two sides started on Wednesday, June 29.

About 1,000 families have been displaced into the hinterlands towards Kabindi, Rugabo, Rutshuru centre and Kiwanja. Four thousand others have found refuge in Uganda.

Residents of Rutshuru have, in the meantime, expressed happiness at the mounting firepower of the FARDC and have called on the army to quickly liberate the areas currently controlled by the M23 from the rebels’ grip.

“The clashes started on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, around Ruseke and Nyabikona. They have been going on since today (Thursday) morning in the village of Rutsiro,”  said Jean Damascene Baziyaka, a civil society activist in the locality.

On Wednesday, June 29, the national army recaptured several localities in the Bweza and Kisigari tribal groups from the rebels. These include Rutakara, Rugarama, Buhoro, Kashari, and Ruvumu.

Lt.-Colonel Njike Kaiko Guillaume, the North Kivu Sokola2 operational sector spokesperson who gave the updates, said the situation was still evolving. 

“The situation is evolving very well on the ground. The FARDC has taken the high ground over the enemy and continues to press on to recuperate certain positions once occupied by the enemy,” Kaiko said.

“I am talking here about the Rwandan enemy and its allies of M23. Therefore, the population should remain calm and, above all, support the FARDC.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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