DRC troops launch offensive against M23 rebels in north Kivu

In a major development, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army launched an offensive on May 22nd against M23 rebel positions in the eastern province of North Kivu.

The offensive, backed by local militia groups known as “wazalendo,” aims to retake territory seized by the rebels in recent months.

According to FARDC spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, several locations have already been recaptured.

The DRC government accuses Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels, a claim echoed by Western powers.

Fighting has been reported on multiple fronts, including the Masisi and Rutshuru territories northwest of Goma, the provincial capital.

Residents described ongoing clashes and bombings near the Ndumba and Kabase hills.

This offensive comes as the M23, a primarily Tutsi-led rebel group, has made significant gains since resuming its armed campaign in 2021.

The rebels have captured swathes of territory, including the strategic mining town of Rubaya, which holds valuable mineral resources used in electronics.

The ongoing conflict has had a devastating humanitarian impact.

The UN estimates that nearly seven million people are displaced within DR Congo, with 2.5 million displaced in North Kivu alone.

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