M23, Government Forces Clash near Goma

1672 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
The fighting comes barely a day after the M23 rebels warned that they would retake Goma, accusing the Kabila government of provoking them by attacking their bases. The rebels say they are within sight of the town. Hundreds of locals are fleeing the fighting.

 Fighting has broken out between the Congolese government forces and the M23 rebels near the North Kivu Provincial capital of Goma.
 
The fighting comes barely a day after the M23 rebels warned that they would retake Goma, accusing the Kabila government of provoking them by attacking their bases. They further accuse the government of failing to take seriously the peace talks that have been ongoing in Kampala.
 
Yesterday the M23 rebels civilian leader Bertrand Bisiimwa warned of a possible takeover of Goma if the Kabila government goes ahead to attack their bases.
 
Colonel Vianny Kazarama, the M23 Rebels spokesperson, says that the Kabila government forces tried to attack their bases with heavy artillery but were repulsed by the rebels.
 
Kazarama says that the M23 rebel soldiers are already on the road in Mugunga area and will soon be entering Goma.
 
Kazarama further revealed that the M23 Rebels also plan to close the road to Sake.
 
He further rubbished government claims that the rebels have lost 15 fighters and that government has lost only four. He says it is actually the government forces who have suffered many casualties.  
 
The fighting signals a second round of clashes between the two sides since the rebels pulled out of Goma in November 2012.
 
Hundreds people are said to be fleeing in different directions.