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Vol 54 No 18

Published 6th September 2013


Kivu on the brink

The M23 rebels have suffered heavy losses, so Kigali may have to choose between abandoning them or risking deeper involvement

Tension between Rwanda and Congo-Kinshasa has escalated almost to open war after two weeks of renewed fighting in eastern Congo. The national army, the Forces armées de la république démocratique du Congo, backed by United Nations troops with an aggressive new mandate, are battling rebels of the Mouvement du 23 mars who are widely held to have Rwandan support. In the midst of the intense fighting, in which M23 was taking serious losses, mortar bombs and artillery rockets started to land on the Congolese town of Goma and on Rwandan territory. After Kigali blamed the shelling on the FARDC, it looked for a moment as though the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) might enter Congo in strength. Such a move would nominally be to stop the shelling of its population but the result would be to support M23.

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