DRC rebels impose 'unacceptable' curfew

2013-09-05 07:45
M23 rebels (File: AFP)

M23 rebels (File: AFP)

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

Kinshasa - M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are enforcing a curfew in areas under their control, the UN peacekeeping mission said on Wednesday, calling the move "completely unacceptable".

Monusco spokesperson Felix Basse said the UN troops were monitoring the situation in the area of the resource-rich east of the country controlled by the rebels during the current lull in fighting.

"At the moment, it is time to consolidate the positions recovered by the army pending further actions in the future," said Basse.

"The M23, which in practice controls the territory of Rutshuru [north of Goma]," has "imposed a curfew on civilians," said the Senegalese officer.

He said this was "completely unacceptable" and the situation was "being monitored by UN troops until future action".

The UN Special Envoy Mary Robinson said on Wednesday she believed discussions between Kinshasa and the rebels could yet succeed in bringing an end to attacks on civilians in the region.

The negotiations, which opened in December in Kampala and have been suspended since May, were not "at an impasse," said Robinson during a press conference in the Congolese capital.

The former Irish president told the audience she believed a solution would be found, but admitted she was "a bit frustrated" with the progress so far.

International pressure

The rebels, who seized Goma for 12 days in November before withdrawing to the surrounding hills under international pressure, retreated this week to around 30km north of the city in the face of a new UN-backed offensive by the army.

The M23 was launched by Tutsi soldiers who mutinied from the army in April 2012 and turned their guns on their former comrades.

The UN and the Kinshasa government accuse neighbouring Rwanda of supporting the rebels, a charge Kigali denies.

The latest comments came as defence chiefs and foreign ministers from Africa's Great Lakes region met in Uganda in the latest bid to end the fighting in DRC.

Congolese troops, backed by a special United Nations force, launched a fresh assault against the M23 army mutineers in the turbulent North-Kivu province late last month

On Friday, the rebels retreated to Kibumba, some 30km north of Goma, the capital of the mineral-rich province of North Kivu.

Although there has been no fighting since Sunday, a high-ranking army officer told AFP on Monday that an offensive on Kibumba was planned "in the near future". He added that army positions were within two kilometres of the town.

Army spokesperson Olivier Hamuli said the goal was to "consolidate" positions it had gained in the East, "knowing that Rwanda is behind" the M23.

Read more on:    un  |  monusco  |  m23  |  rwanda  |  drc  |  central africa  |  east africa

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.

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

Traffic Alerts
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.