AFRICA/DR CONGO - North and South Kivu: More clashes between army and M23

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 armed groups   displaced persons   local churches  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Two people died yesterday, May 13, in the bombing of the village of Minova, in the Kalehe region, in the province of South Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to a local civil society leader, the artillery shells came from the area occupied by the M23 rebels in Masisi in the neighboring province of North Kivu. Two more shots were fired in Kitalaga, two in Rudahuba and one in Kiata. Yesterday there were also violent clashes between M23 rebels and soldiers of the Congolese army and their local allies in several locations in the Masisi area. The ongoing conflict in North Kivu therefore risks spreading to the neighboring province. The civilian population is the main victim and is now also being hit by heavy weapons fire. The government in Kinshasa accuses the M23 of being supported by the Rwandan army. Meanwhile, on May 11, a mass was held at the Notre-Dame de Fatima parish in Kinshasa in memory of the victims of the May 3 bombing of two refugee camps in Lac Vert and Mugunga, near Goma, the capital of North Kivu (see Fides, 6/5/2024).
According to the current state of affairs, there are 18 dead and 32 injured. In his homily, Father Eric Mashako condemned what he sees as "war crimes" and called on the international community to intervene to put an end to the drama in the eastern Democratic Republic. Joseph Nkinzo, spokesman for the personalities and communities of Greater Kivu, stressed the importance of national unity in these difficult times and said that all Congolese should invoke divine grace for peace in the east of the country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/5/2024)