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Counter Accusations As 19 People Die in North Kivu :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Counter Accusations As 19 People Die in North Kivu

On Thursday night, Lawrence Kanyuka, M23 rebels’ political spokesperson released a statement accusing FARDC and coalition of bombing a densely populated area which resulted in deaths and injuries.
Locals looking at one of the destroyed houses in Mweso Masisi territory

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The March 23 Movement (M23) and Armed Forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), militia coalition under their umbrella Wazalendo (Patriots), and troops under Southern African Development Community (SADC) are trading accusations following the bombing of Mweso town in Masisi territory, North Kivu province that left 19 people dead.

The Thursday bombing happened during heavy fighting between belligerents.   27 others were seriously injured while an unspecified number of houses were also not spared by the bombs.   On Thursday night,  Lawrence Kanyuka, M23 rebels’ political spokesperson released a statement accusing FARDC and coalition of bombing a densely populated area which resulted in deaths and injuries. 

Kanyuka condemned the bombing and accused the government army of ethnic cleansing by targeting civilians.      

On Friday, the Congolese army through  Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike Kaiko also released a statement accusing  M23 rebels of being behind the bombing. He says that M23 rebels used 120 Mortar bombs to target the town after being dislodged from one of their positions. Ndjike says that the civilians were killed as M23 rebels were launching what he described as unsuccessful attacks on FARDC positions in Kanyangowe, Mweso, Mudugudugu, and Mushebere in Masisi territory.      

//Cue in: “le forces armees…  

Cue out: …du M23.”//       

Translation "The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, condemn with the utmost energy the innocent deaths and injuries caused this Thursday, January 25, 2024, in MWESO by the Rwandan army and its allies of the M23. Indeed, it was on, January 24, 2024, that M23/RDF terrorists launched several unsuccessful attacks on FARDC positions in KANYANGOWE, MWESO, MUDUGUDUGU, and MUSHEBERE in the territory of MASISI.

Bertrand Bisimwa, the M23 rebels President also on Friday afternoon released a statement punching holes in FARC’s accusations describing them as total lies and catastrophes. 

Bisimwa says that FARDC should condemn its soldiers for bombing areas that host civilians instead of blaming M23.  “Reading the press release from the coalition of Kinshasa regime forces, which is circulating on social networks, on their war crimes in Mweso one concludes that it is a catastrophe. Indeed, it was written in haste to try to wash away the insult.

The coalition claims that the M23 attacked its positions in particular in Mweso since Wednesday, but that it would have succeeded in containing it and pushing it back until the M23 would have lost control of Mweso.

Fighting has raged in Mweso since Monday.  In March 2022, M23 led by Bertrand Bisimwa and General Sultan Makenga launched a war against the government.  The DR Congo government accuses Rwanda of backing M23, but Rwanda and M23 strongly deny it.  The rebels claim to fight against bad leadership in DR Congo based on corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination. 

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