DRC: M23 confirms the arrest of Burundian soldiers in the East of the Country

DRC: violent fighting between the army and M23 rebels

Violent clashes broke out on Friday June 7 between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and M23 rebels in the city of Kanyabayonga, North Kivu. The army has been seeking to regain control of strategic localities from the rebels for several days.

The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) launched a major offensive against the M23 rebels on Friday June 7, in the city of Kanyabayonga. The two forces are fiercely competing for control of this strategic region.

According to local sources, the Congolese army has focused its efforts on retaking the towns of Mirangi, Kihala and Lusuli, which recently fell into the hands of the rebels. Radio Okapi, the United Nations radio in the DRC, specifies that these areas serve as a “rear base” for the M23, allowing the rebels to carry out operations against the city of Kanyabayonga, still controlled by the Congolese army.

The Congolese soldiers underline the importance of these localities, located around 30 km from Kanyabayonga, for the rebels' strategy. Indeed, Mirangi, Kihala and Lusuli open the way to other strategic localities such as Kikuku, Nyanzale, Mutanda and Kishishe, in Rutshuru territory. Controlling these areas would allow the army to cut off all logistical support to rebel troops positioned near Kanyabayonga, in Lubero territory.

Friday's clashes are part of an ongoing effort by the army to regain the initiative against the M23, a rebel group active in eastern DRC and accused of numerous human rights violations. The North Kivu region has long been the scene of armed conflicts, worsening an already precarious humanitarian situation.