Two peacekeepers were injured on Tuesday, November 1 in eastern DRC when a convoy of the United Nations mission in the country (Monusco) was attacked by an angry crowd, while the M23 rebellion launched a new offensive on October 20, we learned from UN and local sources.
The MONUSCO convoy came from the north of Goma and arrived in the suburbs of the provincial capital from North Kivu. At the Kanyaruchinya roadblock, where thousands of displaced people who fled the recent fighting between the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) and the M23 rebels have arrived in recent days, the convoy was targeted by stone throwing and at least a vehicle was set on fire, said a Monusco official in Goma. “Two peacekeepers were injured during the altercation,” he said. According to witnesses, the convoy was able to continue on its way after warning shots.
#Kanyaruchinya : what really happened 👇🏾
— MONUSCO (@MONUSCO) November 2, 2022
Adolphe Shukuru, member of the civil society, specified that the convoy had stopped when “the army wanted to search the vehicles to know their contents”. The crowd then “started attacking the Blue Helmets”, he added.
The UN soldiers, present in the DRC for more than twenty years, are regularly accused by the population of the East of inefficiency in the fight against armed groups who have been raging in the area for three decades. The tension is particularly high in the province of North Kivu since the resurgence of the M23 which, after weeks of calm, went on the offensive again on October 20 in the territory of Rutshuru, where it seized towns located on a strategic road serving Goma.
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The rebels notably reached Rumangabo, the seat of a Congolese army base and the headquarters of the Virunga national park. The FARDC base was largely emptied as the M23 approached, but it remained under surveillance by a Monusco contingent.
“We have made a strategic and tactical withdrawal from Rumangabo, in consultation with our partners, to better prepare the next steps together,” Monusco tweeted on November 1. The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23, which Kigali systematically denies. Saturday October 29, Kinshasa decided to expel the Rwandan ambassador in RDC.