In recent weeks, the front line had remained relatively calm. But new clashes occurred on Thursday, October 20, indicated on Saturday evening the Kivu Security Barometer, which documents the violence in the region.
On Sunday, military officials and residents reported the capture by M23 men of the village of Ntamugenga, a strategic target near the main road leading to the provincial capital Goma.
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“The situation is grim here. The M23 has just taken Ntamugenga, said Célestin Nyamugira, the village chief. They came from the forest and infiltrated the city. There were several injuries, stray bullets and shrapnel. Difficult to know the balance sheet. »
“Wounded and dead”
Colonel Serge Mavinga confirmed that “the enemy is already in Ntamugenga” and that there were “wounded and dead”. The army is however “next to” the locality, he added.
The outcome of these clashes remains uncertain. According to the Kivu Security Barometer, at least two civilians lost their lives and a dozen were injured. Managers medical from the Rutshuru regional hospital reported on their side four people killed and eight others injured on Friday and Saturday.
The M23, a former Tutsi-dominated rebellion defeated in 2013, took up arms again at the end of last year, accusing Kinshasa of not having respected agreements on the demobilization and reintegration of its fighters. The M23 has since conquered ground in the province of North Kivu, notably in June the strategic town of Bunagana, on the border with Uganda.
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Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting this rebellion, which Rwanda disputes. Despite official denials from Kigali, an unpublished UN report pointed to Rwandan involvement with from M23.