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HomeBreaking NewsDRC-RWANDA WAR: Congo Suspends Traffic On Roads To Goma Due To M23...

DRC-RWANDA WAR: Congo Suspends Traffic On Roads To Goma Due To M23 Rebels

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended traffic on four major roads connecting to Goma City in North Kivu province, just one day after re-opening.

The authorities had allowed the resumption of traffic along Goma-Rutshuru-Kanyabayonga, Goma-Sake-Kitshanga-Kanyabayonga, Goma-Sake-Kitshanga-Pinga, and Goma-Sake-Mushaki-Masisi – Walikale on Wednesday despite the presence of the M23 rebels in the area. However, traffic along the road connecting DRC and the Uganda border of Bunagana had remained closed.

The leaders said that the decision to reopen the roads was taken after an outcry, especially from the business sector which was bruised by the effects of the fighting between FARDC and M23 rebels.

The resumption of traffic left locals in Goma city in celebration through Thursday, but as the cover of darkness surfaced, the government withdrew its directives after reports that M23 rebels had shot and killed a truck driver and his turn boy along the Rutshuru-Goma Road.

The authorities also accuse the rebels of looting all the goods transported in a truck by the deceased, according to a statement issued by Lieutenant Colonel Kaiko Ddjike Guillaume, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) for north Kivu province. He said that the decision to suspend traffic again was reached by a team led by the Governor of North Kivu Province.

The statement indicates that the decision to suspend traffic is aimed at protecting the population from the terrorist behaviour of the M23. “… to protect the population from the terrorist behaviour of the M23/RDF mentioned above, the measure is suspended until further notice,” reads the statement.

After the government authorities’ statement, M23 president, Bertrand Bisimwa also released a short statement which was also posted on the group’s social media handles describing it as a cynical and anti-social measure that obstructs the free movement of people and goods between Goma and the rest of North Kivu.

According to Bisimwa, the hostage-taking which subjects civilians to poverty and hunger for reasons of political manipulation is unacceptable.

“Let us denounce a cynical and antisocial measure that obstructs the free movement of people and goods between Goma and the rest of North Kivu. This hostage-taking which subjects our populations to poverty and hunger for reasons of political manipulation is unacceptable”, Bisimwa stated.

M23 rebels launched a war against the DR Congo government in March 2022 in what they called a war against corruption, xenophobia, and discrimination among others. Since then, many areas have fallen under rebel control in Rutshuru, Masisi, and Nyiragongo territories.

The DRC government accuses Rwanda of backing the rebels, an accusation that Rwanda has severally thrashed.

CREDIT: The Independent

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