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WAR IN THE EAST: Thousands Flee Goma Surrounding Areas As Tensions Rises

Tension is rising in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as violent clashes between the Congolese Defence Forces (FARDC) and the M23 Rebels.

Thousands of locals in towns and villages surrounding the city of Goma are fleeing their homes as the conflict in the region reach unsettling proportions.

The city of Goma, the provincial capital of North-Kivu Province, has the become the centre of the mass exodus with surrounding villages including Sake where residents were victims of the M23 fighters who continue to advance.

“Soldiers warned us that the M23 rebels were advancing, and we had no choice but to flee,” one of the residents said in highlighting the sudden and desperate nature of the displacement.

Locals in Sake are forced into the arduous journey of over five hours on foot to Goma where security is guaranteed by the heavy presence of security forces in the city.

The inability of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to quell the violence despite his reelection in December has raised doubts about the government’s capacity to restore peace.

Analysts point to Tshisekedi’s ongoing struggle to fulfill promises of stability in the region, exacerbating the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire.



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