© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Congolese police discuss to demonstrators calling on authorities to implement an agreed withdrawal of M23 rebels from occupied territory within the area, inside Goma within the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo January 18, 2023. REU
By Djaffar Al Katanty
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday condemned an offensive by M23 rebels within the east of the nation that pressured 450 individuals, together with girls and kids, to hunt refuge round its base in Kitshanga city.
“The M23 should stop all hostility and withdraw from occupied areas, in accordance with the roadmap set out within the Luanda mini-summit,” the mission recognized by its acronym MONUSCO, stated on Twitter.
The assault on Kitshanga is a brand new offensive by rebels who’ve seized massive areas of japanese Congo’s North Kivu province in a fast onslaught since Could that threatened the provincial capital, Goma.
The insurgency has infected regional tensions with Congo accusing neighbour Rwanda of backing and sponsoring the Tutsi-led rise up. United Nations consultants and Western powers have accused Rwanda of backing the M23.
The federal government of Rwanda has denied any involvement.
Regional leaders brokered an settlement in November underneath which the rebels had been meant to withdraw from not too long ago seized positions by Jan. 15 as a part of makes an attempt to finish the preventing that has displaced a minimum of 450,000 individuals.
However a U.N. inside report stated the rebels had been flouting the ceasefire and withdrawal.
Two witnesses who fled Kitshanga and joined the throng of refugees on the MONUSCO base, stated the rebels had taken management of the city.
“The military withdrew. I am on the MONUSCO base,” stated a Kitshanga-based journalist, requesting anonymity for safety causes.
A spokesman for Congo’s authorities, and military didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The M23 stated in a press release that it was obliged to intervene to guard Tutsis in Kitshanga and different areas.