100s flee as DRC army, rebels clash

2012-04-30 10:11

Goma - Hundreds of people were forced to flee as fierce clashes broke out between government troops and rebel forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, an army commander said on Sunday.

"Violent clashes involving heavy weapons are ongoing close to Mweso [Nord-Kivu province] between soldiers who have left the army and loyalist forces," an army commander, who was participating in the combat, told AFP by telephone.

He did not give details on injuries or deaths but added that "about a hundred people have fled Mweso in the direction of another village, Kitschanga", located about 20km away.

Over a dozen high-ranking officers who were former rebels from the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), had quit the army in the beginning of April, bringing with them hundreds of men in the unstable provinces of Nord and Sud-Kivu.

Most of the men have since been reintegrated into the national army, the army source said.

The defecting soldiers were all close to former CNDP chief of staff Jean-Bosco Ntaganda, who had led his men to join the national army in the beginning of 2009 after a peace deal with Kinshasa.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in 2006 for Ntaganda, whose nickname is "Terminator", for charges of using child soldiers to fight for him in his militia group.

Kinshasa has refused to arrest him, due to the peace deal.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-30 10:59

    There we go AGAIN !!!!!!! MILLIONS of African lives lost, just in the last decade !!!!! And the AU, the USA, Europe, Russia and China,. all look the other way!! And somehow these oil; and mineral conspiracy stories does not hold here; As this is one , if not the most, valuable piece of land in the world !!!!!

      Guelord - 2012-04-30 14:07

      They look other way for reasons best known for them

  • Francois - 2012-04-30 16:33

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-30 17:01

    What one should do is to put 20 000 troops on the ground. Does not matter , where they come from; Russia,the USA, China or Nato And than to use that crazed thug gaddafi'd words; "Go door to door and sniff out these Rats" The problem is; For Russia there is no money to be made !! China will only be interested in the minerals, underneath these thugs!! And the US and Europe will only be accused for wanting to "colonize" DRC AU ??? It is doubtful, they even know there is a 'conflict' there, and that MILLIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MURDERED So , we just let these Rats, MURDER anyone in their way; Unarmed men, women and children, by the THOUSANDS !!!

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