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Rebels retreat as Congo army seizes eastern strongholds

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Rebels retreat as Congo army seizes eastern strongholds


Government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo have reportedly nearly ended the threat from rebel M23 fighters.

According to Martin Kobler, the United Nation’s special envoy, a four day army offensive, backed by a new UN intervention brigade, has forced the rebels to abandon several strongholds and retreat towards the Ugandan and Rwandan borders.

But M23 says it will fight back despite having to withdraw.

After two months of relative calm, tensions reignited after Rwanda, which UN experts accuse of backing the M23 rebels, said two of its citizens had been killed by Congolese army fire over the weekend.
Kigali, which denies supporting the M23, says it will not tolerate any Congolose military action in its territory.

M23 began in early 2012 as a mutiny by soldiers demanding the government implement the terms of a 2009 peace deal signed with a previous Rwanda-backed rebel group, many of whose members had been integrated into the army.

In another area of eastern Congo, about 10,000 Congolese refugees have fled into Uganda to escape fighting between a new rebel faction called M18 and local militias.

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