Congo-Kinshasa: Resumption of Fighting Following Two Days of Calm

Hostilities between DR Congo’s armed forces (FARDC) and the M32 rebel group continued on Wednesday, October 4 after two days of uneasy calm, which followed renewed fighting on Sunday in North Kivu province in the country’s east.

M23 spokesperson Lawrence Kanyuka said the FARDC attacked the villages of Tebero, Katovu, Rugeneshi, Kilolirwe, Burungu and their surroundings in the villages of Tebero, Katovu, Rugeneshi, Kilolirwe, Burungu and their surroundings in the early hours of Wednesday.

In a post on X, Kanyuka accused the government forces of “non-compliance with the ceasefire.””The M23 defends itself, protects the population and its property as well as the schools,” he said. A ceasefire was agreed in November 2022, but it has been broken from time to time.

Despite regional initiatives supporting a peaceful resolution of the crisis in eastern DR Congo, President Felix Tshisekedi said in September at the UN General Assembly that his government will not dialogue with the M23 rebels.

Army chiefs from four regional blocs are expected to discuss the crisis in the country in a meeting due on Friday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa.

In particular, the army chiefs from at least 10 countries “will deliberate on the existing and planned military deployments in eastern DR Congo to establish a clear division of labour,” the AU Peace and Security Council said in a statement on Tuesday.

The East African Community (EAC) has a regional force in DR Congo, which is made up of thousands of troops from Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.

Leaders from Southern African Development Community (SADC) met on September 27 to discuss modalities of the region’s planned military deployment to eastern DR Congo ahead of general elections in December.

Eastern DR Congo, which is home to more than 130 local and foreign armed groups, has been volatile for nearly three decades. Multiple interventions, including one of the UN’s longest and largest peacekeeping missions, have failed to end the decades of conflict and violence.

The UN mission, which has faced protests since 2022 accused of failure to bring peace, is counting its final days as the Congolese government wants it withdrawn.

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