The United Nations raises “troop alert” in DR Congo

The United Nations raises “troop alert” in DR Congo


The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Saturday announced an increase in its “troop alert level” after deadly clashes with rebels in the east.

The MONUSCO mission condemned “the hostile actions of the M23 rebel group” and called for an immediate cessation of fighting.

It is providing “air support, reconnaissance and equipment” and medical assistance to the DRC army, the mission said on Twitter.

The peacekeepers said they were mobilized “in support” of the FARDC army which clashes with the M23 around a strategic motorway this week, with local residents reporting at least ten dead and dozens more injured since Sunday.

MONUSCO said it had set up an “operations coordination center” with the army and was conducting reconnaissance and surveillance flights, but gave no further details on the alert level.

Several witnesses told AFP by phone on Saturday that the M23 had taken control of Kiwanja and the Rutshuru center along the RN2 highway, which connects the provincial capital of North Kivu, Goma, to the north and Uganda.

M23, a predominantly Congolese Tutsi group, resumed fighting in late 2021 after years of lying dormant.

It has since seized large parts of territory in North Kivu province, including the strategic town of Bunagana on the Uganda border in June.

The group’s resurgence has destabilized regional ties in central Africa, with the DRC accusing its smaller neighbor Rwanda of backing the militia.

The rebel group first came to prominence in 2012 when they briefly took Goma before being driven out by a joint Congolese and UN offensive.

The militia is one of numerous armed groups operating in eastern DRC, many of them the legacy of two regional wars that broke out at the end of the last century.

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