Clashes erupt in DR Congo between M23 rebels and army despite ceasefire

Clashes erupt in DR Congo between M23 rebels and army despite ceasefire

M23 rebels clashed with soldiers on two fronts in eastern DR Congo on Tuesday, officials said, despite a regional ceasefire deal due to take effect the same day.

After several days of relative calm, fighting erupted on Monday in the flashpoint province of North Kivu, leaving several civilians dead and injured, hospital sources and aid workers said.

The fighting continued on Tuesday, with the rebels seizing new villages, despite a ceasefire brokered by Angola last week that was due to start at noon.

The M23 rebels have captured swathes of territory in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since re-emerging from dormancy in late 2021, claiming the government had ignored a pledge to integrate them into the army.

The Tutsi-led group is hemming in the lakeside trade hub of Goma, taking territory to the north of the city and advancing in the west as well.

A security source, who declined to be named, said that Karuba, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) west of Goma, "has just fallen into rebel hands".

"We attacked them in the night but this morning they launched a counter-attack, and, at the moment, the fighting is continuing," the source added.

Witnesses said fighting continued to the north too, where rebels remained on the offensive.

Despite the clashes, the M23 rebels in a statement on Tuesday announced what they called "an effective ceasefire" at midday "to open the way for direct dialogue with the Kinshasa government".

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