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WAR IN THE EAST: New Intense Clashes Between M23 & FARDC Near Sake

Fierce clashes have been taking place since early hours of this Thursday morning between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army (FARDC) backed by the Wazalendo, a local militia group, near the city of Sake in Masisi territory, North Kivu Province of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to local sources, the FARDC launched the attack using heavy artillery from Sam-Sam, in the Mugunga district (west of Goma), to shell M23 positions located on hills overlooking the city of Sake, towards three antennas with the rebels also retaliating by throwing bombs that hit the city of Sake.

Traffic between Goma and Sake has since been cut off due to the detonations of heavy weapons heard in several neighborhoods west of Goma and in the territory of Nyiragongo with humanitarian workers deployed in different displacement sites failing to report for service on Thursday as they fear for their safety.

On May 3, 2024, bombs dropped by suspected M23 rebels caused at least 35 deaths among displaced people from the Kimachini (in the Mugunga district) and CBCA (in the Lac Vert district) sites west of Goma.

The victims were later buried in Kibaki, in the territory of Nyiragongo, at a burial site called Genocost.

Since last weekend, sporadic fighting has been taking place between the M23 and the FARDC, supported by the Wazalendo on several roads in Masisi territory including the Bihambwe-Masisi centre, Sake-Bweremana and Ngungu-Rubaya axes where several localities have been reconquered by loyalist forces.

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