UN helicopters fire on DRC rebels

2012-11-18 22:41
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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

Goma - UN combat helicopters fired on rebels advancing on the key eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma on Sunday, as government troops and top local officials reportedly joined fleeing civilians and the international community voiced deep concern about the fighting.

The M23 rebels, army mutineers whose uprising in April unleashed fresh unrest in the DRC's chronically unstable east, halted their advance just outside Goma, the main city in the mineral-rich region.

Fighting was reported around the airport and the rebels warned they would seize the city if they came under attack from the army, which said it was trying to avoid a "bloodbath" in the area.

"If the FARDC [government forces] attack us, we will take the city," Innocent Kayina, M23 operations commander for the area, told AFP.

A UN peacekeeping spokesperson said in New York that UN attack helicopters had fired cannons and rockets at the rebels, but could not stop their advance and that they were now near Goma airport.

UN forces have supported government troops in the region "including carrying out sorties and firing from four attack helicopter missions that have fired rockets and cannon rounds", spokesperson Kieran Dwyer told AFP, after similar action on Saturday.

Fighting resumed on Thursday, just two days after the United Nations and the United States imposed sanctions on the leader of the M23 group. The rebels are ethnic Tutsi former soldiers who launched a mutiny in April after the failure of a 2009 peace deal.

The EU joined the UN in calling on the rebels to halt their advance, with foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton voicing "great concern" about the developments in the area.

"I call on the M23 to immediately stop the military offensive against the city of Goma. Any support to the M23 in violation of the sanctions regime and the arms embargo must stop," she said in a statement.

UN experts have said Rwanda and Uganda back the rebels, a charge fiercely denied by both countries.

A UN source on the ground said government troops and local officials were fleeing Goma. A Western military source said the airport had been closed and that hundreds of people had fled.

The UN Security Council held an emergency session on the crisis on Saturday, demanding end to the M23 advance and "that any and all outside support and supply of equipment to the M23 cease immediately".

It also vowed fresh sanctions against M23 leaders and those who help it breach UN sanctions and an arms embargo.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame to "use his influence on M23", said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.

Ladsous said the United Nations could not confirm whether Rwanda was helping the new rebel offensive, but told reporters that M23 "attacking forces are well-equipped and very well-supplied".

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 17:58 PM
    Road name: M3 Outbound
    DELAYS between Woolsack Drive and the Rhodes Avenue exit
  • Thursday Table View - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Broad Road and Blaauwberg Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.