At least 19 people have died in an attack by M23 rebels in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The M23 rebel group, which is very active in the eastern part of the DRC, has caused new victims this week. The rebels targeted the town of Mweso, dropping mortar bombs indiscriminately. At least 19 civilians were killed and 27 others were injured.
Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume N’djike Kaïko confirmed the involvement of the M23 rebel group in this attack, adding that the bombings were a response to the March 23, 2009 peace agreement that the group believes that it has not been applied by the government.
M23, known for having taken control of Goma ten years ago, is accused of carrying out increasingly frequent, prolonged and intense attacks. Reports from UN experts last year highlighted a significant increase in the territory controlled by the group. This push by the M23 caused many residents to flee.
The security situation in eastern Congo was a central issue during the recent presidential election, where Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi was re-elected on a promise to end the violence. Tshisekedi accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels, an allegation that Rwanda categorically denies despite links made by UN experts.