News / Africa

Thousands of Congolese Civilians Flee from Renewed Fighting

People ride with their belongings on a wooden bicycle as they flee from renewed fighting between Congolese army and M23 rebels near the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 24, 2012.
People ride with their belongings on a wooden bicycle as they flee from renewed fighting between Congolese army and M23 rebels near the eastern Congolese city of Goma, July 24, 2012.
Nick Long
KINSHASA — Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched attacks on positions held by government forces north of Goma. The U.N. mission in the Congo says the Congolese army is responding and U.N. peacekeepers are trying to deter the rebels from inflicting casualties on civilians.

The fighting is again focused on Rutshuru Centre, a town near Lake Edward in North Kivu province, and about 70 km north of Goma.

Commandant Thibaut de Lacoste, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the Congo, MONUSCO, tells VOA that the Congolese army, FARDC, is resisting rebel efforts and the U.N. has reinforced its base in Rutshuru, where it is focusing on its main task.

“As long as the FARDC are still present to ensure the defense of the city, MONUSCO can focus on its main priority of protecting civilians, ensuring they do not suffer collateral damage.  …currently the only action taken by MONUSCO against the M23 is a show of force, to deter the M23 going further and launching any attacks that could threaten civilians. This kind of show of force has been used several times in recent days, yesterday and on 12th July," said de Lacoste.

The commandant says this deterrent show of force can involve MONUSCO helicopters firing live ammunition at the ground in front of advancing rebels to deter them from advancing further.  He notes MONUSCO could - in extreme situations - fire directly at the rebels.

Omar Kavuta, a civil society coordinator for North Kivu, told VOA that regular army units from Uganda as well as Rwanda crossed into Congo last Saturday and have been involved in the fighting.

MONUSCO could not confirm the presence of Ugandan soldiers fighting alongside the M23 rebels.  

Earlier this month, Rwanda and Congo agreed to the deployment of a neutral security force along their border to keep out foreign elements in the fighting.  Despite this, the United States Saturday suspended $200,000 in military training aid to Kigali, citing evidence Rwanda is helping Congolese rebels groups - including M23.

M23 is comprised of former soldiers believed to be loyal to Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid