Over the past month, intense fighting has resumed between the DRC armed forces and M23 rebels in North Kivu, a province in northeastern DRC bordering Rwanda.
Fighting resumed early Monday between the army and rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23) in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) confirmed.
The FARDC “woke up under fire from the M23 enemy and its allies” early Monday in the Ishangi area, located in the Rutshuru territory of the North Kivu province, said Colonel Ndjike Kaiko, spokesman for FARDC based in Goma, the capital of North Kivu.
Bertrand Bisimwa, one of the leaders of the M23, said on his Twitter account that the FARDC attacked the M23 position with the idea of sabotaging the recommendations of the UN Security Council which calls for the resumption of the Nairobi dialogue, an ongoing negotiation bringing together the Congolese authorities and several armed groups to find a peaceful solution.
In a press conference held late Sunday in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi for the first time openly accused the Rwandan government of supporting M23 rebels in their recent offensives on Congolese soil.
Over the past month, intense fighting has resumed between the DRC armed forces and M23 rebels in North Kivu, a province in northeastern DRC bordering Rwanda. Kinshasa accused Kigali of supporting the rebel movement. Rwanda has repeatedly denied any involvement.
The M23 is a group of former rebels of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). The name came from the March 23, 2009, agreement between the CNDP and the Congolese government.
M23, who claims the DRC government had violated the 2009 peace deal, briefly seized Goma, capital of the North Kivu province, in late 2012 before being pushed back by the army the following year. Since late 2021, M23 has resumed fighting with the army in the region.