July 25, 2013

15 Killed as DRC Forces Raid M23 Camp

At least 15 civilians have reportedly been killed in a raid on the M23 rebel camp in Rumangabo by the DRC government forces, the United Nations owned Radio Okapi has reported. Rumangabo camp is located 50 kilometers, North of Goma city in Rutshuru district. 

On Wednesday, three Congolese government helicopters dropped bombs on the camp believed to be the most important military base of the rebels in Rumangabo. Lambert Mende, the Congolese government spokesperson has confirmed the helicopter attack on the rebel position but said that he is not sure about the number of causalities.

M23 fighters launched a rebellion last May, forcing 800,000 from their homes
M23 fighters launched a rebellion last May, forcing 800,000 from their homes

He however, says the helicopter didn’t deliberately target civilians in the bombardment and instead faults the rebels for bringing it up to pile blame on the government forces. Sources in Rumangabo indicate that the rebel fighters scampered to different directions while some of them tried to fire at the helicopters. It is not yet clear how many rebel fighters were killed in the aerial bombardment.

Amani Kabashe, M23 Civilian spokesperson says it is unfortunate for the Congolese government to deploy helicopters against Civilians. Kabashe says that the indiscriminate shelling carried out by Congolese government forces was aimed at Civilians who have nothing to do with the fighting.

He asks the international community to pile pressure on the Congolese government to act in accordance with international laws in regard to none combatants.

Fighting between the Congolese government force and M23 resumed on 14th July at Kibati outside Goma. There has been relative calm until Wednesday July 17th when the government forces intensified attacks on rebel held territory in the hills around the villages of Kanyarucinya and Kibati, about 15 kilometers north of Goma.

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