Fierce fighting has broken out between the national army of the Democratic Republic of Congo, FARDC, and rebels of the March 23 (M23) movement near Rutushuru in Eastern Congo.
Fighting has been occurring in the locality of Chumirwa, four kilometres from the number four national highway near Ntamugenga. Other clashes on Oct 27, have been identified in Kibunge on the Kalengera hills.
Local sources say M23 rebels tried to advance and enlarge their area of operations in Rutshuru territory but were stopped at the FARDC garrison.
“Fighting is closing in on Rubare. All those who have remained there are either on their beds or under their beds. Nobody is stepping out of the house”, Harerimana, an inhabitant of Rubare, told HumAngle.
“Detonations of heavy and light arms can currently be heard in the region forcing the massive displacement of the populations. Numerous inhabitants from the Kako and Rubare agglomerations are heading to Rutshuru centre and Kiwanja”, a civil society source told HumAngle a short while ago from Kibunge.
“Clashes have been taking place in the Kalengera hills. I am just coming from Kako. There are so many FARDC soldiers in Kako and even in Rubare. The rebels attacked the army around Kibunge, not far away from Kalengera. They are in the farms around Berky. Kako has been emptied of its inhabitants. The rebels have even sent tracts warning that they would slaughter all children aged ten years and above because, according to them, children aged above ten years are Mai-Mai fighters.
“The M23 says there are Rwandan soldiers and Mai-Mai Nyatura fighters in Rubare and they are threatening to kill everybody. That is why we have fled from Kako”, declared an inhabitant of Kako currently taking refuge in Rutshuru Centre.
On Oct 26, the FARDC fired artillery shells from Nyongera camp at M23 positions in Rangira-Ntamugenga region. At least five persons were killed and several others wounded in several areas following mortar bombs fired by M23 rebels.
Clashes between the FARDC and M23 rebels resumed on Oct 20 in the Rangira-Rwanguba region in Rutshuru territory after some weeks of relative calm.
The local civil society accuses the M23 of dropping bombs on certain army positions in the area, thus sparking off a resumption of hostilities.
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