News24

Renewed clashes in eastern DRC

2012-05-27 20:43

Kinshasa - A group of former rebels who have mutinied from the Democratic Republic of Congo's army said on Sunday they were repelling fresh attacks by regular forces in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu.

"Fighting broke out again at midnight and is still going on," said Vianney Kazarama, the spokesperson for the mutineers' group known as the March 23 (M23) movement.

"Helicopters bombarded us. They are also using tanks and other heavy arms, but we are still in control of Mbuzi," a strategic hilltop that faces the Rwanda border, he added.

The renewed clashes come after helicopters and tanks fired on the area on Saturday, but failed to take control of the hill.

The chronically unstable eastern province has been beset by skirmishes since the mutiny began in April.

The mutineers are former rebels who were integrated into the army under a 2009 peace deal but started to defect en masse, complaining of poor treatment.