DRC town 'looted by govt troops'

2012-11-26 13:56


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Minova - A Congolese town in the path of advancing rebels is currently occupied by government troops, but that's little consolation to residents whose homes have been looted by the government forces.

Unruly Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers looted for the third night running, a United Nations official in the town of Minova said on Sunday, insisting upon anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press. The UN peacekeepers patrolled Minova to protect civilians from the rampaging government troops.

M23 rebels took the main city of Goma in eastern DRC last week and Minova lies on the path to their next target, a provincial capital to the south.

Pickup trucks packed with Congolese army soldiers armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades sped through Minova. Other army soldiers walked the streets, looking for food. Some were even selling cigarettes on the side of the road, testimony to the poor pay that government troops receive.

In Minova, DRC General Francois Olenga, who was recently named head of the Congolese army, held meetings with area commanders.

"The country is in danger. We cannot defend our country with traitors," Olenga told The Associated Press.

M23 soldiers remained in control of Goma. M23 also still held Sake, a town 25km west of Goma, after repelling a Congolese army attack on Saturday.


As of Sunday, the front line was near a village a few kilometers south of Sake. No rebels were seen by the AP north of the village, and to the south were large numbers of government troops and Mai Mai militias.

Meanwhile, talks at ending the conflict appeared to go nowhere.

Congolese officials held the talks on Sunday in neighboring Uganda with representatives of M23, according to Ugandan officials. Ugandan Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga said he was mediating to help both sides reach a settlement. But Uganda can hardly claim to be totally neutral: Both Rwanda and Uganda back the rebels, according to a UN report released on Friday.

Rene Abandi, M23's head of external relations, said M23 representatives met with Congolese President Joseph Kabila in a tense, two-hour meeting attended by Museveni. But the DRC government denied that it has had any negotiations with the M23 rebels. Some Congolese officials in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa have said there will be no talks with the rebels unless they leave Goma.

A regional summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in Kampala — attended by both Kabila and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni — on Saturday called on the rebels to leave Goma and urged Kabila to listen to the "legitimate grievances" of M23.

M23 is made up of hundreds of soldiers who deserted the Congolese army in April. Since then the rebels have occupied vast swaths of territory in mineral-rich eastern DRC. The rebels accuse DRC’s government of failing to honor the terms of a 2009 peace deal that incorporated them into the national army.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    un  |  m23  |  yoweri museveni  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  uganda  |  rwanda  |  central africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.