UN attack helicopters hit rebels in eastern Congo

KINSHASA (Reuters) – UN attack helicopters hit rebel positions in eastern Congo yesterday after insurgents gained ground in heavy fighting with government troops and took control of a town, the United Nations said.

The clashes to the south of the town Kibumba mean the rebels have advanced to within 30 km (18 miles) of Goma, the closest they have been to North Kivu’s provincial capital since a rebellion exploded in the eastern provinces eight months ago.

North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku said the army retreated to the southern outskirts of the town after M23 rebels – a group of soldiers who mutinied in April – advanced with support from neighbouring Rwanda. A Congolese government statement said 4,000 Rwandans had crossed the border, although Kinshasa later reduced that estimate to 3,500. Rwanda rejected the accusations, the latest in a string of charges by the Congolese government in Kinshasa. The Rwandan government called on Congo’s army and the rebels to halt the fighting as shells were landing in its territory.

“Kibumba has fallen into the hands of the M23,” a spokesman for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations said in an email. “Latest reports indicate that the FARDC (Congo’s army) and MONUSCO (UN) forces are attempting to hold off a possible M23 advance toward Goma at Kibati, some 20 km north of Goma.”

“We are not in a position to confirm direct Rwandan involvement in the M23 attacks,” the spokesman said. “However, we are very concerned by reports that the M23 attacking forces appear to be well-equipped and supplied.”

More in World News


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Back in court: In this Keno George composite photo, Barry Dataram (left) and his wife Anjanie Boodnarine at court yesterday to answer three charges including fleeing the jurisdiction.

    Dataram to serve eight years in jail after guilty plea to new charges

  2. Yansen Brusche

    Ulverston mom of four stabbed to death by children’s father

  3. Ameer Abdool Subrati

    Man dies after bandits target overseas-based couple at Herstelling

  4. US Ambassador Perry Holloway and Finance Minister Winston Jordan shake hands after the signing of the agreement yesterday.

    Guyana inks pact for reporting to IRS on holdings of US citizens

  5. Updated: Man dies after bandits attack overseas-based Guyanese at Herstelling

  6. Barry Dataram

    Datarams getaway passports had been issued to other people

  7. Bharrat Jagdeo

    Crime has never been this bad – Jagdeo

  8. Fast food lovers inside KFC yesterday

    KFC back in business

  9. Cops grilling taxi driver after passenger robbed of $6M on seawall

Recommended For You