Lieutenant Colonel Ndjike Kaiko Guillaume, the DRC army spokesperson for North Kivu province, reported that M23 initiated an attack in Kibaya and Kalake in the Virunga Park, west of Kibumba, with the aim of breaching a passage leading to Mutaho in the Kibati Groupement, approximately 12 kilometers from Goma city.
Fierce fighting started last week between Wazalendo and M23 on all the fronts in Masisi, Ruthuru and Nyiragongo territories. In the aftermath, Wazalendo claimed to have captured 21 villages from the hands of M23.
The M23 cease-fire declaration came as 100 Burundian soldiers were deploying in Sake town, 27 kilometers west of Goma city under the East African Community Regional Force to prevent the advance of the rebels (M23).
Fighting continues in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, hours after the M23 rebels took control of a key town in North Kivu Province on Friday. The capture of Mushaki Locality in Bahunde chiefdom, Masisi territory comes after two days of fierce fighting between the rebels, the Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the local militia coalition.
The report also indicates that the acts were part of a campaign waged by M23 to punish and humiliate civilians suspected of being supporters of rival armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and local Mai-Mai.
The deployment is part of the deal signed on September 9, 2022, between President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo and East Africa Community member states to flash M23 rebels out of DRC's Ituri, North and South Kivu Provinces.
The fighting happened in Kabingo and Rubavu villages in Busanza grouping. In Rubavu village, FARDC soldiers and the militia groups of Nyatura and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) attacked the rebels’ positions.
M23 rebels have been battling with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since March this year under a claim of fighting bad leadership based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination. They have since captured the major Uganda-DR Congo border of Bunagana and the neighbouring areas.
Richard Harerimana, a resident of Gatwe village, Bunagana ward, Bunagana town council says that he had spent six years hiring land in Mugongo, Rutshuru, and growing Irish potatoes. But when fighting escalated, he feared to go cross to harvest in this season.
A Ugandan security source at the border, says that the soldiers fled into Uganda following non-stop fighting on Sunday day and night. The FARDC soldiers, who were manning the border abandoned tanks and other kinds of weapons as they fled to Uganda.
The children crossed into Uganda following fighting between the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers that started on March 28 in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province.
According to the residents, heavy fighting erupted in the hills of Runyonyi and Tchanzu in Sabyino mountains of the Virunga ranges, about four kilometres to the Uganda- DR Congo border of Bunagana in Kisoro district around 4 am on Monday morning.