Rebels in Congo take over a town



By Godfrey Olukya 18-11-2012

M23 rebels in the Democratic republic of Congo have taken over Kibumba town in the country’s eastern.

The fighting has led to over 6000 people flee from their homes to already packed Kanyarucinya internally displaced people’s camp. The camp which according to it’s officials is already overpopulated, is located 10 kms east of Goma city.’

Kibumba town is located 25 kms north of Goma city in the mineral rich North Kivu province. The province shares border with Uganda and Rwanda, the two countries being accused by UN of supporting the rebels although they have vehemently denied the allegation.

Before over-running the town yesterday evening, there was a severe battle between the rebels and government troops. The government troops were joined by UN peacekeepers’ attack helicopters but they failed to stop rebels from seizing the town.

‘The rebels overwhelmed the government troops.’ said Kibumba local administration officer, Laba Loke ‘ It seems the rebel were determined to take over the town at all cost. The choppers sent to help the government troops were shot at and they took off leaving the rebels to over run the town.’ he added.

After the defeat in Kibumba, Democratic republic of Congo government made fresh accusations against its eastern neighbour Rwanda, saying it was backing the rebel forces.

Bur Rwandan officials responded by saying that Congo should learn to carry her own cross.

‘Whenever Democratic republic of Congo forces are beaten by rebels, their government accuses Rwanda and Uganda of supporting the rebels. They should accept that their army is weak and can not stop the rebels from advancing instead of using us as scapegoats.’ a Rwandan official said.

In a related development, It is reported from New York that the 15-nation Security Council went into an emergency session yesterday on the crisis and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon appealed to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame to use his influence on M23.

The council demanded an end to the M23 advance and ordered for immediate stopping of all outside support and supply of equipment the rebels. It also vowed new sanctions against M23 leaders and those who help it breach UN sanctions.


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