AFRICA/CONGO DR - Violent clashes between factions of the M23

Friday, 1 March 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Violent clashes between rival factions of the M23 are underway in the region of Rutshuru, 30 km from Goma, capital of North Kivu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo).
In the aftermath of the framework agreement for the Congo signed in Addis Ababa on 24 February (see Fides February 25, 2013), the M23, the main armed movement that operates in North Kivu, has been split into at least two parts. The first refers to Jean-Marie Runiga, the former political leader of the movement, recently removed from office, and the other to Sultani Makenga, military commander of the rebel group.
Tensions between the two factions, already latent, exploded after the signing of the Framework Agreement, which aims to stabilize the Great Lakes Region, putting under control the so-called "negative forces", ie the various armed groups that have been infesting the area for a long time.
Faced with the prospect of a new international intervention in North Kivu, Runiga wanted to go on the attack, whereas Makenga seems willing to dialogue with national authorities and international bodies to stabilize the region. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/03/2013)