DRC: A base of government forces in the East taken by the M23

DRC: A base of government forces in the East taken by the M23

The city of Nyanzale, a major base of government forces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was captured on Wednesday by M23 rebels after violent fighting that led to a massive flight of the population, officials said. local sources.

Nyanzale is a town in North Kivu of around 80,000 inhabitants, located some 70 km north of the provincial capital Goma.

The M23 rebels are in Nyanzale, “they are heading for the hills”, declared a resident contacted by telephone by AFP. Troop transport vehicles, with ammunition, entered the city, he added, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

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“We are under M23 control here in Nyanzale. They advance towards Kikuku. There are many of them, with vehicles”indicated a health source who also requested anonymity.

Questioned, Patrick Muhindo Mongera, head of the Mutanda group where Nyanzale is located, estimated that the security situation was “precarious”.

“Since yesterday, there were attacks in Nyanzale, Kashalira and Kirima. This morning, we can confirm the capture of Nyanzale by the M23 rebels”he said, adding that the population was “in disarray”.

A Congolese security source confirmed the capture of several localities in the territory of Rutshuru. “We are fighting right now. The enemy took control of the villages of Kashalira, Kirima, Ngoroba and the town of Nyanzale”said this source.

After eight years of sleep, the M23, a predominantly Tutsi Congolese rebellion, took up arms again at the end of 2021 and, with the support of the Rwandan army, seized large swaths of the territories of Rutshuru and Masisi, until cutting off at the beginning of February all land access routes leading to Goma, except that of the Rwandan border.

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