Last updated on March 10th, 2023 at 08:37 am
Local sources say that fighting was still going on in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday, even though the M23 rebellion had agreed to a new ceasefire that was announced in Luanda on March 3. Hospital and humanitarian organization sources say that fighting between the army and the M23 started up again early on Monday morning on both the northern and southern fronts in the province of North Kivu. As a result of the fighting, several civilians were killed or wounded.
The fighting continued on Tuesday morning, right up until the time that the ceasefire was supposed to begin, which was 10:00 GMT. Both parties accused the other of attacking their positions. According to a security insider, “the rebels have just taken control of Karaba,” which is located approximately 30 kilometers west of the capital of the province, Goma. “We attacked them last night, but this morning they launched a counterattack, and the fighting is still going on,” continued the same source. “At this moment, the fighting is still going on.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, a spokesman for the army in North Kivu, said on Monday night, “The M23 terrorists and their backers from the Rwanda Defense Force (the Rwandan army) attacked the Burundian contingent, which had just been sent as part of the East African Community (EAC) regional force.” He also said that this “mortar” attack had hit a camp for displaced people and the city of Mubambiro, which is 20 kilometers west of Goma. He said that this attack had caused “enormous damage.”
Willy Ngoma, a spokesman for the M23, told AFP on Tuesday that the Congolese army attacked “all of its positions at the same time” on Monday and that the rebellion was still being attacked on Tuesday morning. Ngoma claimed that the M23 was still being attacked on Tuesday morning. According to what he said, the M23 responds “in self-defense.” All of the regional efforts that have been made in recent months to stop the M23 from advancing in North Kivu have failed. The recent announcement of a ceasefire is a response to this failure.
The African Union has asked the Angolan presidency to help solve this conflict by acting as a mediator. On March 3, the Angolan presidency made an announcement in Luanda about a new timetable for ending the fighting. According to this new timetable, fighting will stop “in the entire eastern region of the DRC” this coming Tuesday at noon.
After being inactive for almost a decade, the mostly Tutsi insurgency known as M23 picked up weapons again at the end of 2021. Even though UN experts have said that the claims are true, Kigali says they are not. Kinshasa claims that Rwanda is behind it, but Kigali says they are not.