UN forces and Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers protect civilians against the M23 rebels 1107121

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Defense News - Democratic Republic of the Congo

 
 
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 08:28 AM
 
UN forces and Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers protect civilians against the M23 rebels.
UN forces (MONUSCO) and Democratic Republic of Congo troops are reinforcing a key city in the east of the country to guard against attack by M23 rebels who have seized ground in recent days. DR Congo authorities and the United Nations fear that the M23 movement, which took one town on the Uganda border last week and forced 600 government troops to flee, may target the provincial capital of Goma, UN officials said.
     
UN forces (MONUSCO) and Democratic Republic of Congo troops are reinforcing a key city in the east of the country to guard against attack by rebels who have seized ground in recent days. DR Congo authorities and the United Nations fear that the M23 movement, which took one town on the Uganda border last week and forced 600 government troops to flee, may target the provincial capital of Goma, UN officials said.
United Nations peacekeepers are deployed with armoured personnel carrier vehicles in the eastern Congolese city of Goma to protect civilians against M23 rebels, July 10, 2012, 2012.
     

Since Monday, July 9, 2012, the United Nations' Stabilisation Mission for the Congo (MONUSCO) has deployed peacekeepers at key positions around the capital of the restive North Kivu province following a threat by M23 rebels to advance on the city of Goma.

Authorities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo accused neighbouring Rwanda on Tuesday of "invading" a volatile border area, portraying an advancing insurgency as a Rwandan military operation. The rapid M23 rebel advance has opened the way for a possible assault on the North Kivu provincial capital Goma, where U.N. peacekeepers have reinforced their positions.

"The UN mission is doing its utmost in coordination with the Congolese army to protect civilians," Roger Meece, head of the UN mission in Congo, was quoted as saying by the UN spokesman.

The UN mission in DR Congo, known by the acronym MONUSCO, is moving Ghanaian troops and Guatemalan, Jordanian and Egyptian special forces from its 18,000-strong peacekeeping force to the city, said the UN official.

MONUSCO's deputy forces commander, General Adrian Foster of Britain, has moved to Goma to run the UN operation, as UN troops will help with planning, logistics, fuel, transport and other support.

They have already gone into battle to protect civilians, and one Indian peacekeeper was killed last Friday.

The Congo government and a UN sanctions panel report have accused Rwanda of helping the the M23 fighters, who took one town on the Uganda border last week and forced 600 government troops to flee. There are growing fears that M23 may now target the provincial capital of Goma.

M23, a group of mutineers led by accused war criminal Bosco Ntaganda, has already briefly taken other towns near its new stronghold in Bunagana.

 

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