Fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels resumed Monday in Rutshuru in North Kivu province in eastern DRC after a week of relative calm.
The Congolese Tutsi group has recently resumed its attacks against government forces, FARDC, which have ignited diplomatic tensions between DRC and Rwanda over alleged official support for the rebel group, claims Kigali, /p>
Both government forces and M23 have denied each other accused each other of Monday’s attacks.
“We woke up under enemy fire and fought back the same way. Now we intend to go all the way,” FARDC said.
But M23 also blamed the UN peacekeepers, despite the UN Security Council (UNSC) directive that they only protect civilians in the fighting Taking sides.
“Intending to undermine the UN Security Council-recommended talks in Nairobi, the FARDC and its allies launched their offensive at 5am this morning [6 June]. against M23 positions. The involvement of Monusco [the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] in the fighting contradicts the UN Security Council,” said Bertrand Bisimwa, Chair of M23.
< p>On Friday June 3, the United Nations Security Council condemned all armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and called on them to participate “unconditionally” in the internal dialogue held by President Félix Tshisekedi and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta opened in Nairobi.
President Tshisekedi continues to speak Visiting Kinshasa’s western neighbor, Congo-Brazzaville, for talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso on Sunday, he said the dialogue is continuing. But “this will happen without the M23, which today is being treated in the same way as the terrorist forces for having resumed hostilities”.
President Tshisekedi said there was “no doubt that Rwanda supports the M23 Come and attack the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
“The resurgence of this armed movement, defeated in 2013 with the confiscation of its military arsenal, can only be due to Rwanda. It’s no longer a secret,” he added.
The comments were his first public comment on the escalating crisis between the two countries.
Since taking office in 2019, Mr Tshisekedi has said , he had “made efforts in the region with a message of peace” so that the region could again become “a haven of peace” and that “Congo would end more than twenty years of war in its eastern part”.
Pressing for peace, President Nguesso expressed optimism that a mediation led by Angolan President João Lourenço would lead to peace between Rwanda and the DRC.
“The only alternative is creation of peace in the region, given the myriad challenges and multiple crises that the continent is going through,” said President Nguesso.