From: Judy Miriga
Good people !!!!
Kagame cannot deny M23 is not of his making. Kagame is part and parcel of M23. He is the masterminder and the financier of M23 with the help of his unscrupulous Corporate Special Business Interest.
It is quite unfortunate that in his invation to Congo, he planned to be rich and build Rwanda through stealing from Congo. This is unacceptable. Kagame must be indicted and be charged at the ICC Hague for conspiring and planning to ambush, terrorize and kill people of DR Congo. Kagame and friends must be charged for genocide.
Justice must be served and be seen to be to be fair on the Congo People with its Government.
Justice delayed, is justice denied.
Diaspora Spokesperson &
Executive Director for
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa
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Casualties as Congo and UN Forces Fight Rebels
GOMA, Congo August 26, 2013 (AP)
By NICK LONG Associated Press
Congolese troops came under fire from rebels in the country’s volatile east Monday as fighting resumed just outside Goma, a city of nearly 1 million people near the volatile Congolese-Rwandan border, army officials said.
Heavy weapons fire rang out around 4:30 p.m. near the front line just 9 miles (11 kilometers) outside the city.
Hostilities resumed last week after weeks of relative calm, and by Thursday a new United Nations intervention brigade with a stronger mandate than past missions shelled rebel positions for the first time.
Both sides suffered heavy casualties over the weekend, with more than 50 rebels killed and 23 government soldiers dead, according to a doctor near the front line and an army chaplain. Three U.N. peacekeepers were wounded: two South Africans and a Tanzanian, U.N.-backed Radio Okapi reported.
The head of the United Nations mission in Congo, Martin Kobler, visited two hospitals on Sunday and paid his respects to wounded government and U.N. soldiers, hailing them as “heroes fighting to restore peace,” Radio Okapi reported.
The Congolese forces have advanced less than a mile (about 2 kilometers) since Wednesday and have yet to achieve their immediate objective — cutting off M23 from a border crossing where the rebel group is believed to get supplies from neighboring Rwanda, say observers.
The Congolese are fighting with the help of a new U.N. intervention brigade, which was created after the M23 rebels invaded and briefly held Goma in November.
The M23 has been pounding Goma from its positions just north of the strategic city, killing civilians in Goma’s residential neighborhoods. By Saturday, scores of angry residents took to the streets in protest, claiming that the U.N. had not done enough to protect them. A U.N. car was set on fire, and in the melee two protesters were killed.
Some Goma residents claim the U.N. opened fire on the mob, but the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, said in a statement over the weekend that Uruguayan peacekeepers had only fired rubber bullets to control the crowd. Mujica said that it was Congolese police who had used live ammunition.
On Monday, the Congolese government called for an investigation into the deaths of the civilians. Minister of the Interior Richard Muyej told The Associated Press: “We are absolutely in agreement that a joint commission needs to be created” to do that.
Medical services were struggling to cope with the scale of the casualties among government troops and the M23 fighters who launched their rebellion last year and briefly held Goma in November before retreating. Subsequent peace talks in neighboring Uganda have repeatedly stalled.
Dr. Isaac Warwanamiza told The Associated Press he had seen 82 bodies since early Sunday, 23 of whom he claimed were government soldiers, the highest death toll reported since hostilities broke out last week. “I’m overwhelmed by what I’ve seen: bodies blown apart, arms and feet here and there,” he said, speaking by phone from a hospital north of Goma.
Eight of the dead had no uniforms, 23 were government troops and the rest were M23 rebels, the doctor added.
The total of wounded Congolese troops at the military hospital is 720, according to army chaplain Lea Masika.
This is the first time that the Congolese army has been backed by the new U.N. intervention force, which was created in March.
The U.N. brigade was given a mandate to fight the rebels after Goma was seized by the M23 in November. In a humiliating blow to both Congo and the international community, the rebels marched directly past U.N. peacekeepers stationed at the gates of this city. The peacekeepers did nothing to stop them because their mandate at the time was limited to protecting civilians.
The M23 is made up of hundreds of Congolese soldiers, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group who deserted the national army last year after accusing the government of failing to honor the terms of a deal signed in March 2009. Many of the movement’s commanders are veterans of previous rebellions backed by Rwanda, which vigorously denies allegations that it has been supporting and reinforcing the M23.
In Washington, the State Department condemned the actions of the M23, calling on the rebel group to immediately cease hostilities, disarm and disband. The U.S. also suggested that Rwanda is assisting the rebels.
“We urgently call on (Congolese) and Rwandan governments to exercise restraint to prevent military escalation of the conflict or any action that puts civilians at risk,” the statement said. “We reiterate our call for Rwanda to cease any and all support to the M23.”
United Nations troops accused of killing two civilians in Congo
Demonstrators reportedly killed after car set ablaze and crowd tried to storm UN base in protest at lack of protection
David Smith, Africa correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 26 August 2013 11.49 EDT
[image]Two Congolese women walk past a government army tank on the outskirts of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photograph: Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images
United Nations troops have been accused of killing two civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo as the body’s first offensive force is dragged into an escalating conflict.
On Saturday, scores of angry residents took to the streets, complaining that the UN had not done enough to protect them. A UN car was set ablaze and, when the crowd allegedly tried to storm a UN base, two protesters were killed.
Witnesses claim that UN troops from Uruguay opened fire on the demonstrators, but the Uruguayan president, Jose Mujica, denied this, insisting that they only fired rubber bullets and it was Congolese police who used live ammunition.
The UN has opened an investigation into the incident, which has the potential to embarrass the 3,000-strong “intervention brigade” that was created in March and entered combat last week against the M23 rebel movement.
Fighting broke out last Wednesday after weeks of relative calm in and around the eastern city of Goma. The UN troops shelled rebel positions on Thursday but the Congolese government soldiers they are supporting suffered heavy casualties over the weekend, according to an Associated Press report.
Dr Isaac Warwanamiza said he had seen 82 bodies since early on Sunday, 23 of whom he claimed were government troops, the highest death toll reported since hostilities broke out last week. “I’m overwhelmed by what I’ve seen: bodies blown apart, arms and feet here and there,” he said.
Eight of the dead had no uniforms, 23 were government troops and the rest were M23 rebels, the doctor added. The total of wounded Congolese troops at the military hospital is 720, according to army chaplain Lea Masika. Two UN peace enforcers from South Africa and one from Tanzania have also been injured.
The front line of fighting is only nine miles north of Goma. The M23 rebels briefly held the strategic city in November last year and then retreated a few miles away. The Congolese army is yet to achieve its immediate objective of cutting off M23 from a border crossing where the rebel group is believed to receive supplies from neighbouring Rwanda.
On Sunday, the UK pulled its foreign office staff out of Goma due to security concerns.
The US state department said: “We urgently call on (Congolese) and Rwandan governments to exercise restraint to prevent military escalation of the conflict or any action that puts civilians at risk. We reiterate our call for Rwanda to cease any and all support to the M23.” Rwanda has repeatedly denied UN allegations that it backs the M23 rebels.
Congo army battles M23 rebels near eastern city of Goma
Kenny Katombe 1 hour ago
August 26, 2013 (AP)
By Kenny Katombe
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – A U.N. brigade tasked with neutralizing armed groups in Congo has assisted the country’s army in clashes with eastern rebels on Monday, ending a brief lull in days of fighting that has killed and wounded dozens.
The violence, the most serious in months, is the first major test for the newly deployed U.N. Intervention Brigade which has an unprecedented mandate to launch military operations against M23, one of the rebels at the heart of nearly two decades of conflict.
A senior officer with the brigade told Reuters that U.N. peacekeepers were “assisting” the Congolese army in operations against M23 rebels late on Monday.
“We are supporting the army in their operations but have not ourselves engaged the rebels at this stage,” the officer said by telephone from Goma, requesting not to be identified.
The brigade has fought alongside Congo’s army several times since the latest fighting erupted on Wednesday.
The M23 rebels said they were targeted by air strikes and came under heavy weapons fire on Monday afternoon.
“As usual, we expect that ground troops will come in the wake of these bombings,” M23 said in a statement. Congo’s army said rebels had attacked first and it was retaliating.
Congolese army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli said clashes were taking place at Kibati, about 11 km (7 miles) north of Goma, a city of a million people on the Rwandan border.
The rebels briefly seized Goma in November before withdrawing and committing to Ugandan-hosted peace talks. Negotiations have faltered and renewed fighting has exacerbated tensions between Rwanda and Congo.
Several shells fell in Rwanda during clashes around Goma last week, prompting Kigali to accuse Kinshasa of bombing it. Congo denied the charge and accused Rwandan troops of backing the rebels.
The cross-border accusations underscore the rebellion’s roots in a complex web of local politics and regional conflicts over ethnicity, land and minerals. Rwandan troops fought in two Congo wars but Kigali says it is not supporting the M23.
A doctor at a military hospital near Goma said he was treating those wounded in “ferocious” fighting on Saturday.
“It is very chaotic and difficult to have precise numbers, but we have had around 15 deaths so far. There have also been 150 injuries,” the doctor said, asking not to be named.
The doctor and a U.N. official said the rebels, whose positions were struck by U.N. attack helicopters on Saturday, had lost many men in the fighting.
A rebel spokesman denied those reports. “How can we continue to protect our territory while suffering the kinds of losses they are saying? It is nonsense,” said spokesman Colonel Vianney Kazarama.
The United Nations said three of its soldiers – two Tanzanians and a South African – were injured on Saturday when a shell landed near their position just north of Goma.
(Additional reporting by Pete Jones in Kinshasa and Peroshni Govender in Johannesburg; Writing by David Lewis and Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Mohammad Zargham)
Congo soldiers, UN forces battle M23 rebels
NICK LONG August 25, 2013
GOMA, Congo (AP) — Congolese soldiers and rebel forces suffered heavy casualties Sunday, a doctor near the front line said, as they fought for a fifth day near the city of Goma in the country’s volatile east.
Dr. Isaac Warwanamisa said he had seen 82 dead since early morning, 23 of whom were government soldiers, he said, the highest death toll reported since hostilities broke out last week.
A chaplain at the military hospital in Goma, Lea Masika, said 59 wounded were brought in on Sunday, bringing the total at the hospital to 720.
The Congolese government troops are still fighting to take a hill from where M23 can target Goma, and have advanced less than a mile (about 2 kilometers) since fighting resumed Wednesday after a three-week lull.
Congolese troops backed by U.N. forces fought the rebels for hours on Saturday. Three U.N. peacekeepers were wounded in the fighting. The U.N. mission created in March with a stronger mandate to protect civilians fired for the first time on rebel positions Thursday.
“We are using artillery, indirect fire with mortars and our aviation, and at the moment we have troops in the front line alongside (the government forces),” the U.N. force commander in Congo, Gen. Dos Santos Cruz, said.
However, there has been widespread skepticism in Congo that the intervention brigade will be a game-changing addition to the existing U.N. force, which stood by when M23 fighters briefly captured Goma late last year. And on Saturday, scores of Goma residents took to the streets in anger over a series of rocket and mortar attacks that have left at least seven civilians dead in recent days. Two other residents were killed during the demonstration, and the U.N. called for a joint investigation.
Congo accuses neighboring Rwanda of helping the rebels, charges denied by Rwanda’s government. M23’s leaders previously headed other rebel groups in the region that were backed by Rwanda. M23 is made up of hundreds of Congolese soldiers mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group who deserted the national army last year after accusing the government of failing to honor the terms of a deal signed in March 2009.
Peace talks in neighboring Uganda have repeatedly stalled, and M23 has vowed to fight back against the U.N. intervention brigade. The intervention brigade, made up of Tanzanian, South African and Malawian soldiers, is reinforcing 17,000 U.N. blue helmets already with the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO.