News Column

Congo Troops Arrive in Goma After Rebels Withdraw

Dec. 3, 2012

Congolese army soldiers arrived in the eastern city of Goma on Monday in an attempt to re-establish control two days after fighters from the M23 rebel group withdrew.

"We are back (in Goma), one battalion so far but the rest will come," Colonel Olivier Hamuli, a spokesperson of the Congolese army, also known by its French acronym FARDC, told dpa by phone.

Some 600 FARDC soldiers were greeted by cheering locals. Reports said M23 members had looted shops, pharmacies and homes in and around Goma last week.

Police forces had been deployed to the area on Friday.

Fighters of the M23 rebel group left the city on December 1 after having held it for about ten days.

The M23 group was founded this year by former rebels mainly from the Tutsi ethnic group, and is reportedly led by renegade army general Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

The rebels were integrated into the army in 2009, but claim the government failed to meet its pledges under a peace deal.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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