AFRICA/CONGO DR - Fighting continues in North Kivu despite the agreements in Addis Ababa

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - More than 120 people have lost their lives in fighting in the territory of Masisi and Rutshuru (90 km from Goma, capital of North Kivu in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo). This was reported in its official website by the Congolese Bishops' Conference (CENCO). Between 27 and 28 February the Congolese regular army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo-FARDC) and the militia of the Armée du Peuple pour un Congo Libre et Souverain (APCLS), one of the most important of the 30 armed groups operating in the Congolese province, confronted each other. According to the CENCO the victims are mostly ethnic Hunde, Nande and Hutu.
In addition to the dead and wounded, the fighting caused the destruction of the shopping center in Kitchanga: "the hotel, warehouses, shops, pharmacies and restaurants were destroyed and burned. The Camp Sayo and Mberere districts were 90% destroyed. According to the local Red Cross, more than 256 homes were set on fire."
The APLS is formed Hunde and its leader is a self-proclaimed General, Janvier Karaïri. According to several local sources, the clashes broke out because the FARDC military sent in the area are former Tutsi rebels who were integrated into the regular armed forces.
Despite the agreements in Addis Ababa (see Fides 06/03/2013) there is no peace in North Kivu because the main guerrilla group in the province, the M23 is divided into two factions fighting each other (see Fides 1/3/ 2013). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/03/2013)