Fresh wave of violence as rebels seize territory near Rwandan border

 

KINSHASA – Mutineers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have seized territory near the Rwandan border following an offensive against government troops, the UN and government officials said yesterday.

The troubled province of North Kivu has been swept by fresh waves of violence since late March, after hundreds of former rebels defected from the army in support of the renegade general, Bosco Ntaganda.

The new fighting in minerals-rich North Kivu province is likely to dampen hopes of any revival which had began in the region following a short lull in fighting after two decades of instability.

The United Nations estimates the fighting has forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes since April.

The mutiny risks dragging eastern Congo back into war and damaging fragile relations with neighbouring Rwanda, which has have repeatedly denied allegations that the rebels – known as M23 – are receiving cross-border support.

– (Reuters)