Fresh fighting has broken out between M23 rebels and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government forces backed by the United Nations forces in Kinyandoni -Ishasha areas in Eastern DRC.
The rebels claimed the clashes started after Congolese government forces attempted to overrun an area under their control. The government forces on the other hand accuse the rebels of provocation.
Colonel Olivier Hamuli, the spokesperson of the Congolese army says armed with heavy and light weapons, the rebels tried to advance towards Mabenga village, which is under government forces.
Hamuli says they fought back because they cannot tolerate such provocation. According to Hamuli a government soldier was shot and injured in the fighting.
The rebels gained an upper hand in the clash and pushed towards Kiwanja town, about 10 kilometers from Mabenga village in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province.
Bertrand Bisiimwa, the M23 rebel’s President while speaking to local media denied claims that they attacked any government positions. He however, says they repulsed an attack by government forces on their position.
He faults the government forces starting chaos to disrupt the ongoing peace talks in Kampala. Bisiimwa insists that the current crisis in the country can only be resolved through peace talks and not hostilities.
He appeals to the international community to slap sanctions on the Joseph Kabila government.
Our reporter couldn’t independently verify who started the fighting.