DRC Army Intensifies Attacks Against M23

Government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo are attacking the last areas held by the M23 rebel group in the forested hills in the east.

DRC army in Goma.
DRC army in Goma.

Hundreds of refugees are fleeing the fighting close to Congo’s eastern border and crossing into Uganda.

The M23 rebels on Sunday called a ceasefire to allow peace talks in neighboring Uganda with the government.

It follows a string of defeats by government troops, who have driven the rebels from all towns they once controlled during a 20-month rebellion.

In a statement, the M23 called on the organisers of the peace talks to “put in place a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire”.

A DRC government spokesman said the statement was “a step in the right direction” but that it was waiting to see if the ceasefire was being implemented.

“There is always a delay between the order being given and the reality on the ground,” Lambert Mende was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“In any case the army will continue to pursue the demobilisation and disarmament of the rebels.”

At least 800,000 people have been left homeless since the conflict started.

The M23 is made up of army deserters who say they are fighting for the rights of the minority Tutsi ethnic group.

Additional Reporting By Agencies

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