Humanitarian crisis worsens in DR Congo ahead of peace talks
21 November 2022 | 7:29 am
Thousands more flee their homes in eastern DRC amid fighting between M23 rebels and government forces. Locals don't believe new talks in Kenya will bring peace.
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The region has been in the grip of an offensive by the M23 armed group and 900 Kenyan soldiers were recently sent to the area. Also in this edition: South Africa's disgraced ex-president Jacob Zuma could go back to prison, and we talk to Nigerian climate expert Chukwumerije Okereke, who is the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development. And lastly, guest Karim Baldé breaks down the Senegal's loss against the Netherlands in the World Cup.
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The M23 rebel group has said in a statement that they are ready to withdraw from occupied areas in eastern Congo. However, this comes amid reports of renewed fighting and as the DRC accuses M23 of killing 272 civilians.
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A new round of peace talks between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government and representatives of major rebel groups ended in the Kenyan capital city Nairobi on Tuesday with participants agreeing on a raft of issues including the unconditional release of prisoners.
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In eastern DR Congo, fighting between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese army has already forced 400,000 people to flee. Since March, more than 100,000 civilians have found refuge in Uganda. Hundreds of families arrive every week in the country, which is already home to 1.5 million refugees.
The M23, a key rebel group in the eastern Congo, says it has agreed to a ceasefire but experts are skeptical. The European Union has meanwhile imposed new sanctions on M23 commanders.
The flood-prone capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo saw around 280 houses wiped out by the floods earlier this week. UN officials now have updated figures.
The Congolese government wants to speed up the procurement of weapons to help it fight rebel groups in the east. The UN also renewed its peacekeeping mission in the DRC for another year.
The coalition of armed groups accused Mali's military government of lacking the political will to achieve peace. They gave a precondition to their return to the talks — relocating them to a neutral country.
For several months, the M23 rebel group has been pursuing an offensive in eastern DR Congo. The rebels are drawing ever closer to the provincial capital Goma, a city they conquered and briefly held during their last offensive 10 years ago. Our reporters spoke to residents of Goma who are still haunted by the fighting of 2012 and fear the rebels' return. Meanwhile, diplomatic pressure is growing on Rwanda, with DR Congo, France and Germany openly accusing Kigali of supporting the group – something it denies.
MONUSCO and the Congolese army want to counter the movements of the M23 rebels in the North-Kivu region as swiftly as possible, while Rwanda continues to deny its support of the group.
Prices of basic food commodities have doubled in the eastern Democratic of Congo. The spike is being attributed to the ongoing hostilities between government forces and M23 rebels. Among the affected areas is Bukavu, which lies in the extreme south-western edge of Lake Kivu.
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