The DR Congo national army, FARDC, says its troops killed some rebels of the M23 movement on Sunday, Jan. 30.
Col. Honore Rindugu, Commander of the 3,413th regiment based at the border with Rwanda and Uganda, said the killings took place in the Virunga national park in eastern DR Congo where the rebels had been chased to a corner.
According to the army commander, the killing was in revenge of the Jan. 24, killing of about 30 FARDC soldiers by the rebels.
Col. Rindugu revealed that the rebels were killed in an ambush by FARDC soldiers, adding that the army had already buried some of the corpses of the rebels.
He added that all the corpses of the dead rebels had not been recovered and according to rebel communications intercepted by the army, “the enemy themselves said 30 of their men were absent from roll call.”
“For now, according to our monitoring, there were 25 killed from within the ranks of the M23 on Friday in the middle of the Virunga national park in Ndiza,” said Damien Sebuzanane, president of the local civil society, who also revealed that one FARDC soldier was killed in the confrontations.
These military attacks by the FARDC come on the heels of an attack on the night of Monday, Jan. 24, to Tuesday, Jan. 25, on an army position in Nyesisi in the Rutshuru territory, 50 km to the north of Goma, chief town of North Kivu province.
Members of the local Red Cross Society who took part in the burial of the corpses said at least 32 FARDC soldiers were killed while the government on its part said “several soldiers were killed including one colonel.”
The “Mouvement du 23 Mars” (M23) which also calls itself “Armee Revolutionnaire du Congo” is an old rebellion of Congolese Tutsis supported by Rwanda and Uganda, which was defeated in 2013. It is accused of having resurfaced and been attacking army positions since Nov. 2021.
Villagers said the M23 told them that they did not want to occupy any Congolese territory but wanted to be integrated into the DR Congo army according to accords signed by the two sides which were not respected by the Congolese side.
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