UN troops wounded as fighting flares in DR Congo

Goma and Sake in jap Democratic Republic of Congo (Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA)

Clashes have damaged out between authorities forces and M23 rebels leaving eight UN peacekeepers injured after a quick lull in combating in jap Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations mentioned.

One of many peacekeepers was “gravely wounded” within the assault on Saturday at Sake, mentioned UN mission head Bintou Keita.

The strategic city lies 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Goma, capital of North Kivu province, and combating resumed within the space on Saturday, witnesses mentioned, after a number of days of quiet.

By noon Sunday, a precarious calm had settled over the area, the witnesses added.

A Congolese safety supply informed AFP the UN troopers had been wounded when two M23 shells landed on their camp in Sake’s Mubambiro district.

M23 was shelling the city after “patriotic” militia referred to as “Wazalendo” that assist the military had attacked the rebels, the supply mentioned.

The Tutsi-led M23 (March 23 Motion) launched a brand new offensive two weeks in the past in opposition to a number of cities, 70 kilometres from Goma, extending its management northwards within the Rutshuru and Masisi territory.

Keita, the UN secretary normal’s particular consultant within the DRC, mentioned in a press release the peacekeepers had been deployed in North Kivu for a number of weeks underneath Operation Springbok the place the military and peacekeepers “are finishing up joint operations”.

Lieutenant-colonel Guillaume Ndjike, the province’s military spokesman, accused Rwandan forces of focusing on the UN place at Sake through the clashes.

The 15,000 UN troops deployed within the DRC began to go away on the finish of February on the request of the Kinshasa authorities which considers them ineffective. The withdrawal is because of be accomplished by the tip of the the yr.

After eight years of dormancy, the M23 insurrection took up arms once more in late 2021, seizing massive swathes of North Kivu — chopping off all land entry to Goma besides the Rwandan border street in early February.

Based on Kinshasa, the United Nations and Western nations, neighbouring Rwanda is backing the M23, which Kigali denies.

Tens of 1000’s of individuals have been displaced by the newest battles. The UN estimated on the finish of 2023 that just about seven million individuals had been displaced within the DR Congo, together with 2.5 million in North Kivu alone.

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