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Congo Rebels Ignore Appeal to Quit Attack

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo — Regional leaders meeting in Uganda on Saturday called on Congolese rebels to “stop all war activities and withdraw from Goma,” but the rebels did not seem interested in that.

Instead, they continued their advance on more government territory, sending troops in several directions to surround the small town of Minova, a steppingstone toward the next big prize, Bukavu, one of the largest cities in eastern Congo.

The Congolese Army, which has been routed in just about every battle in recent weeks, was massing troops around Minova on Saturday and beefing up its ranks by drawing on notorious militias that have been accused of raping and killing civilians.

Clashes could break out at any moment, the rebels said Saturday night, with rebel and government positions just a few miles apart.

“Why should we negotiate with the government?” said Bertrand Bisimwa, a spokesman for the rebel group, called the M23. “They are talking peace but showing us the hand of war.”

The rebels, who are widely believed to be backed by Rwanda and have also been accused of war crimes, took Goma, a provincial capital, on Tuesday.

Since then, they have continued their push toward other strategic cities in eastern Congo.

Regional leaders are very concerned that Congo could be descending into another period of heavy warfare and widespread displacement similar to what it suffered in the mid- to late-1990s when rebel groups and foreign armies carved this vast country into fiefs.

On Saturday, Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila, met with presidents from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

The presidents issued a communiqué at the end of the meeting, outlining several steps toward peace, including having the Congolese government listen to the “legitimate grievances” of the rebels and the establishment of a “composite force” made up of rebel fighters, government soldiers and a neutral army to control Goma’s airport.

by Jeffrey Genttleman

- New York Times

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  • mohamed cheers

    Uganda should pull out its Amisom troops to help m23 if Tanzania joins the war game?
    Tanzania's move is too risky to cause further escalation?
    Cheers.

  • Buuxiye

    I agree Mohamed.

    Uganda and Rwanda have invested too much to allow M23 to loose on account of Tanzanian interference. It seems the Riches of Congo are being fought over by external actors. Arming and funding proxy groups in neighboring states has become a NEW source of revenue in AFRICA.

    The international community should take all actions necessary against Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya due to their sponsoring of M23 and attempt to Cause a Regime change in Congo. The Riches of Congo will then go into the pockets of the sponsor countries.

    on the 23rd Nov 2012 the IC lifted the Arms embargo in place in Somalia while Somalia is still dependent on Amisom troops mainly Ugandan origin. Uganda does not have a Shipping port however since it controls Moqadishu port it intends to import arms through Moqadishu to fuel all it's Proxy wars in central Africa. The UN is simply turning a blind eye.

    Somalia has more arms then it needs so lifting the arms embargo only serves the interests of Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda to import heavy arms for their proxy wars.

  • isse

    I don't know why i'm fond of this country. I hoe oneday to be able to visit that region supposing it become safe, since i'm coward and not adventerous. DRC and Somalia have many similarities, both Soviet allies then US allies and lastly never ending civil war with regional intervention..

    • isse

      *hope

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