Armed ViolenceNews

M23 Rebels Kill 8 DR Congo Soldiers

Eight soldiers of the DR Congo national army, FARDC, were killed in an attack by rebels of the M23 movement.

Eight soldiers of the DR Congo national army, FARDC, were killed in an attack by rebels of the M23 movement on their positions in the east of the country.

The attack happened Wednesday night through Thursday morning. 

“Our position was attacked by M23 in Bukima in the night of Wednesday to Thursday during which two soldiers were killed,” said Lt.-Col. Muhindo Lwanzo, Director of Cabinet for the military administrator of Rutshuru in North Kivu province.

Another army position was attacked and burnt down by the same group from Monday night to Tuesday Dec. 21, in the morning. 

“Six soldiers were killed. In total, it is eight soldiers who have been killed since the beginning of the week,” Lt.-Col. Lwanzo added.

According to the officer, the last attack was the seventh carried out by M23 against army positions since November, in a Virunga park zone in Rutshuru territory. 

On Nov. 8, 2021, the army had accused former rebels of M23 of having attacked its positions in this zone which also harbours an eco-guards base of the paramilitary officials charged with the protection of the Virunga Park, which for some time came under the control of the assailants.

On that day, Nov. 8, more than five thousand persons took refuge in neighbouring Uganda after fleeing the violence.

Being the last remnants of a Congolese rebellion dominated by Tutsis and supported by Rwanda and Uganda, the M23 rebel group was born out of a mutiny in April 2012 by former rebels integrated within the DR Congo armed forces, FARDC.

The M23 had been defeated by the Congolese army supported by the Blue Helmets of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in 2013 after 18 months of guerilla warfare in North Kivu and the capture of the town of Goma in 2012.

The provinces of North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri have been under a state of siege since May 6 to fight against armed groups that have been terrorizing the civilian populations in the two provinces. 

Civilian authorities have since then been replaced by military and police administrators, yet the armed groups continue to hold sway in the two provinces and others

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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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