Fighting escalates in eastern DRC as evidence of Rwanda's support to rebels emerges

In the eastern province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), fighting between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army, supported by other militias, is getting worse.

The violence broke out around the town of Saké, thirty kilometres from Goma, the capital of the province of North Kivu, and in the territory of Masisi.

Major displacement

According to local groups more than 135,000 people have moved to the city of Goma.

In the territory of Masisi, nearly 700,000 people have been displaced by the clashes since last December.

“The problem prevents access to foodstuffs and all basic necessities coming from Goma,” Voltaire Batundi, a local civil society leader, told RFI.

Roads are blocked and supplying this territory has become very difficult.

"The problem is access to food and all the basic necessities coming from Goma," he added, " including corn flour, beans, cereals, fuel, medicines…These do not get up to the road that connects Goma to Walikale, through Masisi. The road is blocked because the M23 took Mushaki and now demands taxes."

Rwandan support

The M23 rebels are fighting the local Wazalendo militias.

These groups consist of local militiamen who have partnered with the Congolese military (FARDC), primarily to fight the M23 rebels who have terrorised North Kivu province for nearly two years.

(with newswires)

Read more on RFI English

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