SECURITY ALERT in Goma!
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 10:22 PM Last Post By: hamidah
Nov 18, 2012 4:24 AM
SECURITY ALERT in Goma!Sunday 18 November, 2012
Avoid travelling to Goma now.
The rebels are only some kilometres form Goma, Goma inhabitants are scared and at least some humanitarian personnel have been evacuated on the Rwandan side.
See for instance:
Nov 18, 2012 5:00 AM
The situation is really scaring!
Nov 18, 2012 2:09 PM
2The New times says people are actually returning to the area:
"yesterday Kibumba Town was reportedly under the control of the M23 rebel movement and some refugees who had fled to Rwanda had already started crossing back to their country.
Most of these refugees are Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese who fled their homes early last week.
Kibumba Town is about 25 kilometers north of Provincial capital Goma, and it is the battlefield from where stray bullets injured three residents of Rubavu District as fighting resumed on Tuesday this week.
“We have been told that it is now safe to return home and there is no reason for me not to go since even some of my relatives have already gone,” Eliphaz Ngabo, a refugee, told The Sunday Times yesterday."
Rwandan Immigration authorities estimated that over 1,000 refugees had crossed back home by press time.
Nov 18, 2012 10:24 PM
3New Times? A Rwanda newspaper? You must be kidding, you are following Congo incidents from a Rwanda government newspaper. The way they are reporting about the incidents is close to a crime. M23 are Tutsis (ex- CNDP) which have been funded and trained by Rwanda. And many of those Rwandaphone people in Congo are actually Rwandese…..
What they are referring to are some hundreds of Rwandaphone people when others are talking about all the Congolese people there: residents in Goma, Sake and Rutshuru, all the displaced people. Goma is surrounded by camps for displaced people.
There were tens of thousands of internally displaced people (originally from Masisi) in Kanyarucinya refugee camp who have fled to Goma.
I was talking yesterday to friends in Goma, they were SCARED. Everything was paralyzed in Goma. International community had been evacuated to Rwanda. However, there were also negotiations going on in the evening, have not yet heard any news.
Nov 19, 2012 11:41 AM
4In practice there is war in Goma, there has been fighting today around thee airport. Flights are not able to land, everybody is staying scared at home behind the locks. I also heard something about bombing at the border but have no confirmation.
Nord-Kivu: des coups de feu entendus près de l’aéroport de Goma
Des coups de feu ont été entendus lundi 19 novembre dans l’après-midi près de l’aéroport de Goma au Nord-Kivu, selon des sources des Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC). Certains militaires indisciplinés commis à la garde des résidences des autorités se seraient mis à tirer, pour riposter aux obus tirés en provenance du Rwanda. Ces obus auraient causé des blessés à Goma.
Pour sa part, le Mouvement du 23 mars (M23), dans un communiqué rendu public le même jour, accuse l’armée congolaise d’avoir tenté de relancer les hostilités alors que ses combattants étaient en passe de se replier par rapport à la ligne de front actuelle, située à Munigi, à 2 km de l’aéroport de Goma.
Les forces du M23 disent avoir été instruites d’opposer une résistance farouche à l’adversaire et de le repousser le plus loin possible de leurs positions de manière à garantir la totale sécurité aux populations civiles, a ajouté le même document.
Des coups de feu sont également entendus dans le centre-ville. Des témoins sur place indiquent que des blindés sont visibles dans divers points de la ville.
Des ministres toujours bloqués à Bukavu
Les ministres du gouvernement central qui devaient se rendre à Goma à ce lundi 19 novembre sont toujours à Bukavu ce lundi 19 novembre. Leur vol a été annulé en dernière minute à la suite de ces coups de feu entendus à proximité de l’aéroport. La délégation est composée de cinq ministres dont ceux de la Défense et de l’Intérieur.
« La situation sécuritaire est quelque peu perturbée », reconnaît le ministre de l’Intérieur Richard Muyej, indiquant qu’il y a « une psychose forte étant donné que le Rwanda qui est le parrain du M23 organise des attaques tout autour de Goma ».
« Tout à l’heure, l’aéroport a été ciblé juste avant notre décollage de Bukavu. La Monusco sur place, a estimé qu’il était difficile que l’hélicoptère atterrisse. C’est pour cela que nous avons décidé de retarder le décollage », explique le ministre.
Richard Muyej fait savoir que la délégation devait apporter « des messages importants aux services, à la population et aux différents commandements de l’armée».
Dans un communiqué officiel daté de dimanche soir, les rebelles du M23 ont exigé du gouvernement congolais la cessation des hostilités et des négociations directes dans le 24 heures « pour donner la chance à la résolution pacifique de la crise présentement en cours. »
Des combats entre les FARDC et le M23 ont repris jeudi 15 novembre à Kibumba, à 30 km de Goma. Deux jours après, la localité est tombée sous contrôle des rebelles et ils ont progressé jusqu’à s’installer à Munigi, à 10 km du chef lieu de la province du Nord-Kivu.
Nov 19, 2012 9:54 PM
5Goma trembles before Congo rebel advance UN seems powerless to stop
M23 militia, which UN says has Rwandan backing, closes in on city in eastern Congo as army weakens
David Smith in Johannesburg and Blase Wetemwami in Goma
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 November 2012 18.34 GMT
Rebels with the alleged backing of Rwanda threaten to invade the biggest city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday/on Monday, with UN peacekeepers appearing powerless to stop them.
After several days of heavy fighting, the M23 militia group, which the UN accuses of human rights abuses and recruiting child solders, appeared to be on the brink of taking Goma after resistance from the Congolese army crumbled.
With regional tensions growing, neighbouring Rwanda accused Congolese soldiers of firing heavy weapons into its territory, wounding three civilians.
Rwanda reported that one of the three civilians hit had died in hospital. Brigadier general Joseph Nzabamwita, a Rwandan army spokesman, said the Congolese army "has deliberately this evening bombed Rwanda, using T55 tank and mortar bombs" as well as 37.5mm anti-aircraft fire.
He added: "Rwanda is exercising restraint as of now. We are concentrating on evacuating the affected population. We continue to assess the situation."
Congo denied the claim, saying Rwanda was firing into its own territory to justify an intervention.
On Monday night, tank and artillery fire echoed above the deserted streets of Goma as terrified civilians took shelter and fears grew of a rebel advance..
"For sure, Goma is going to fall because they have infiltrators in town and they are strong enough," said Sifa Mastaki, a 50-year-old businesswoman. "Everyone is afraid. We are not sure about whether the negotiations will do something or not. If they don't find a resolution, for sure the town will fall."
She added: "If the M23 come, they will destroy our town and loot or rape. We can't do business any more because of them. We don't really know why they are fighting. What do they want? The UN can stop them or stop this war but the problem is that UN is watching quietly the M23 taking over the town."
Bora Muhim, a 38-year-old student, said: "I will run away because I am afraid of the M23. I can never agree with them. They loot, rape and kill. Everybody is afraid. The UN must help Congolese citizens and also help the Congolese army so we can get peace."
Jeremi Kubuya, 32 and unemployed, said: "The threat is real. How will we survive in a such situation? I can never be on the side of rebels. A rebel can kill, loot and rape."
A humanitarian crisis is already unfolding. Some 50,000 people are thought to have fled ahead of the latest rebel advance. One of the region's biggest camps for people already forced from their homes, at Kibati, 10 miles north of Goma, is said to be empty. The 35,000 people who were living there were streaming into Goma or other nearby camps.
Tariq Rieble, Oxfam's humanitarian response manager, said: "The situation is extremely worrying. Many people fleeing have been displaced multiple times and have very little to fall back on with few possessions, little money, and no way of buying food. There are very limited resources here."
Thomas D'Aquin Muiti, president of a local non-governmental organisation in North Kivu province, told Reuters: "I think everyone in the town is sceptical of M23 ... The town is emptying ... If the international community allows M23 to take Goma, it'll be a humanitarian catastrophe."
Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, sits at the Rwandan border on the north shore of Lake Kivu, in the foothills of volcanoes. It is home to the world's biggest peacekeeping mission, including about 1,400 troops in and around Goma.
The UN said its peacekeepers fought the advancing rebels throughout Sunday, using rockets, cannon rounds and helicopter gunships, but its mandate does not go beyond supporting the Congolese army. "Goma is under serious threat," said Madnodje Mounoubai, the UN mission spokesman. "We are not going to engage the M23 directly. Our mandate is to support the national army."
Asked if he feared for his own safety, Mounoubai replied: "We don't know the intention of the M23. We hope they're not going to attack our camp."
More than 150 rebels and two soldiers have been killed since intense fighting broke out last week. On Sunday afternoon, when the M23 halted their rapid advance, their checkpoint was just 100 yards from a Congolese government checkpoint on the edge of Goma.
On Monday morning the M23 said they would pull back and give the government a 24-hour ultimatum to meet a long list of demands, including a declaration on state TV and radio announcing the start of negotiations.
But later the militia resumed mortar and machine-gun fire at a village two miles outside Goma, sending civilians, including young children, running for safety.
Colonel Vianney Kazarama, an M23 spokesman, blamed Congo for the renewed hostilities and again vowed to take Goma. "The army provoked us," he said. "They have fired on our men. And we have the right to defend ourselves. We are going to fight until our last breath. We are going to take Goma tonight."
Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the Congolese government, said negotiations were out of the question, and Congo refused to give in to the "blackmail" of a Rwandan-backed group. "We will fight in Kinshasa if we have to," he told the BBC.
A report by the UN's group of experts says the M23 is receiving military and financial support from Rwanda, which vehemently denies the charge. On Saturday, the UN's peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous, said the M23 had received sophisticated equipment, including night-vision capacity and 120mm mortars. The M23 is now believed to consist of 2,500 to 3,000 men.
Goma may not be its ultimate prize, however. Stephanie Wolters, a political analyst specialising in the Great Lakes region, said: "The reality is that it's difficult to keep Goma. You have to maintain control over a big city for a long time. There's no strategic advantage in it; it sucks up all your manpower. So it's not sensible for the M23 to go for it."
M23 control would spell disaster for the residents of Goma, Wolters added. "It's a densely populated city, and the people are extremely vulnerable, many living in non-permanent structures. These people have every reason to be concerned. Any combat in the city would be chaotic, with more casualities than in a rural area. That's why nobody wants Goma to become a battlefield."
Nov 20, 2012 6:56 AM
"les autorités rwandaises ont accusé lundi l’armée congolaise d’avoir « délibérément bombardé » la ville de Gisenyi avec des chars et des mortiers. Selon le général rwandais Joseph Nzabamwita, ces tirs ont fait deux morts. L’armée congolaise a réfuté avoir ordonné de tels tirs, sans exclure la possibilité d’un tir accidentel."
"Des combattants du M23 ont pris le contrôle de la ville de Goma ce mardi 20 novembre dans la matinée. Des témoins sur place indiquent que les FARDC ont quitté la ville et pris la direction de Sake, 27 km plus loin, après avoir résisté aux rebelles. Ces derniers contrôlent les lieux stratégiques de la ville notamment l’aéroport, où stationnent encore les casques bleus de la Monusco, ainsi que le mont Goma qui abrite la Radio télévision nationale congolaise.
Des tirs étaient entendus au loin de la ville de Goma vers 12 heures locales. Il s’agirait des troupes FARDC qui continuaient de pilonner certains quartiers de la ville.
Dans les quartiers, les habitants de Goma affirment que les rebelles du M23 leur ont demandé de vaquer normalement à leurs occupations. Certains d’entre eux cachent pas leur déception. Ils ont déclaré à Radio Okapi avoir le sentiment d’être trahis par le gouvernement. « Je ne pensais pas que le M23 pourrait arriver à prendre le contrôle de notre ville », a confié un habitant trouvé devant sa rue.
Des rebelles arpentent les principales artères de la ville notamment le boulevard Kanyamuhanga."
Nov 20, 2012 10:22 PM
7Yesterday, M23 Rebels entered Goma with out resistance, and I understand they have taken over the Airport that was guarded by UN
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