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7 reported killed in east DRC as army battles M23

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Monday, November 20, 2023

The entrance of Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu in the DRC. (Photo: AFP).

Seven people were killed in an exchange of gunfire in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on Saturday evening, while fighting flared up the next day between the army and M23 rebels, reports quote local sources.

A hospital source is quoted by AFP as saying four civilians and three soldiers were killed while 11 others were wounded in the Saturday incident, adding that “the perpetrators have not been identified.”

The circumstances surrounding the shooting, which AFP correspondents say took place at a camp for displaced people in Nyiragongo territory north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province, are unclear.

The territory’s police administrator, Colonel Patrick Iduma told media sources that “indigenous” militiamen fired “to frighten off the displaced people occupying their plots”.

The head of a local civil society also heard witness accounts as saying the dead included civilians who were in a bar.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring territory of Masisi, fighting was reported on Sunday between the army and rebels, after a few days’ respite in the clashes.

“The M23 attacked us this morning in Karenga”, next to Virunga Park, said a security source.

The soldiers were dislodged from their position, “but we are going to recover the area”, said the same source.

The renewed clashes occur just as Kinshasa signed an agreement on the status of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force that will replace EAC Regional Force that it is expelling from the volatile east of the country.

According to The East African newspaper, President Antoine FĂ©lix Tshisekedi presided over the official ceremony to actualize the deployment of SADC troops in the DRC capital on Friday.

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