DRC rebels 'begin Goma pull-out'

2012-11-28 11:30

Goma - Local residents in Goma on Wednesday said M23 rebel fighters have started trucking food and ammunition out of the key Congolese city, a local official said.

Residents had reported the movement of dozens of trucks, said the official, who did not want to be named.

"According to them, they are heading towards Rutshuru and Rumangabo," he added, referring to rebel-held towns north of Goma.

The developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo come after the M23's military leader Sultani Makenga said on Tuesday that fighters had started transporting provisions, medical supplies and ammunition towards Rutshuru.

The M23 rebels have occupied the strategic eastern city since November 20. But on Tuesday, Makenga said his men would leave Goma within three days.

They would pull back 20km under a deal struck in Kampala the previous day with an east African regional group.

In the streets of Goma, life appeared to be proceeding normally, with the shops open and taxis running. A few rebels were posted at junctions but their presence has been scaled back considerably.

Late on Tuesday, the UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told reporters in New York there were signs the rebels might be getting ready to pull out.

"It seems that the advances have stopped," he said.

The rebellion erupted in April when the mainly Tutsi M23 broke away from the DRC army. They said that a 2009 deal to end a previous conflict had not been fully implemented.

The UN experts have said the forces is backed by neighbouring Rwanda, a charged repeatedly denied in Kigali.

Goma is the the capital of the mineral-rich North Kivu region.

  • mmoledis - 2012-11-28 15:21

    I have never seen any country like DRC, what kind of country is that and its leadership? this was not supposed to could have happened where people intergrate into the defence force of the country and then after pull out, this shows that DRC government is weak, from 500 men to 3000 men then a bunch of people be able to dictate terms to the government, this is not good at all government should start taking things seriously by reiforcing their force and buy sophisticated arms to can help protect the country. Now certain countries due to country not being able to provide adequate security are taking chances of that by supporting rebel groups which intern they know that while they are fighting then themselves are busy with minerals of the country in Goma and some eastern parts of DRC where there are lot of minerals at stake. How can rebels have vehicles, ammunition and heavy weapons? this means someone is providing them for his benefit or for the benefit of his country.UN must also not sit down and look while DRC is suffering like that they should step up and increase their operation in DRC to be though.

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