DR Congo

DR Congo: North Kivu - clashes underway, residents attack UN base inn Goma

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International mediators are at work on a truce, while fighting continues between the Congolese troops and CNDP rebels in the areas north of Goma, in east DR-Congo. The news was confirmed to MISNA by Colonel Samba Tall, military spokesman of the United Nations mission in DR-Congo (MONUC), referring that violent fighting is still underway in the areas of Rutshuru and Nyiragongo, where the rebels seized the Rumangabo military base for the second time in less than 15 days. "We are attempting to convince the sides to withdraw to the positions they held before August 28", said Tall, "to consent a resumption of negotiations and the peace process". In addition to the clashes on the ground, over the past 48 hours the sides have also engaged in a propaganda war accusing each other of starting the hostilities. Meanwhile, in Goma, provincial capital of North Kivu, residents attacked the offices of the UN mission with sticks and stones, accusing the peacekeepers of not doing enough to protect the civilians from the violence of Nkunda's rebels. "Unfortunately it is not the first time that similar episodes occur, sparked by the exasperation of these people, for years forced to live under the constant threat of armed groups", continued Tall. Local authorities also denounced the reinforcement of the CNDP with men and munitions from foreign countries, in clear reference to the Rwandan government accused of backing the rebels. "They are unfortunately accusations that are difficult to verify, due to the heavy fighting still underway in the areas in question, and that risk extending the conflict on a regional level, even over the border", added the UN mission spokesman.