DRC Army and M23 Clashes in the Environs of Goma (Murky Role of China)
Kanako Mita and Chika Yoshida
Modern Tokyo Times
Fierce fighting continues in the environs of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This concerns the Tutsi-led M23 insurgents and the armed forces of the DRC in the strategic region of Goma.
Various notable insurgent and terrorist groups unleash violence in eastern parts of the country. Hence, people suffer at the hands of multiple forces in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu.
M23 insurgents primarily protect the Tutsi ethnic group in this part of the DRC from Hutu militias. Also, M23 insurgents protect Kinyarwanda-speaking minorities in eastern DRC.
In recent days, the M23 has focused on the town of Sake concerning its strategic value. If this town falls, it will put further pressure on Goma.
Relief Web reports, “Escalating violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has forced at least 78,000 children to flee their homes in the past week, with thousands now on the road to Goma, Save the Children said.”
The government of the DRC said it would prevent the fall of Goma (located near the border of Rwanda). However, the M23 countered that their actions remain “defensive.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “Massacres against the Tutsi have undoubtedly happened based on ethnic tensions – and in the other direction. Meanwhile, other ethnic conflicts blight the DRC. Equally, the Islamist nature of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) entails the butchering of Christians by the ADF. Therefore, with so many insurgent groups – including the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) and the Hutu forces of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) – countless different forces have committed massacres against ordinary civilians.”
Volker Türk – UN high commissioner for human rights – said, “The armed groups, M23, ADF, CODECO, Zaire and Nyatura, continue to carry out egregious attacks against the civilian population and they do this with full impunity.”
AP News reports, “Locals say the deadly unrest has worsened in recent weeks. Several armed groups have intensified attacks on civilians and tried to seize more territory as the United Nations and regional peacekeepers begin to withdraw at the government’s request. Peacekeepers have been accused of failing to stop attacks on civilians.”
Approximately 7 million people are internally displaced inside the DRC. This notably applies to the plagued-ridden eastern region of this country.
The Council on Foreign Relations reports, “The abundance of natural resources—especially precious minerals—found in Congolese soil has globalized the conflict in eastern DRC. While U.S. companies once owned vast cobalt mines in the Congo, most were sold to Chinese companies during the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations. Chinese companies connected to Beijing now control the majority of foreign-owned cobalt, uranium, and copper mines in DRC, and the Congolese army has been repeatedly deployed to mining sites in eastern DRC to protect Chinese assets.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “China’s military arms are being used to boost the armed forces of the DRC in its struggle against M23 insurgents. Accordingly, drones and other weapons are being utilized (while China’s concern – similar to the Balochistan region of Pakistan – is the exploitation of resources).”
To the consternation of the government of the DRC, the government of Rwanda supports the M23 despite repeated denials. However, given the role of the Hutu FDLR against the Tutsi – along with the increasing role of China, it is natural that Rwanda will utilize the M23 given the prevailing conditions.
China sent 9 Caihong 4 (CH-4) attack drones to the government of the DRC. These are now being used against the M23.
Overall, the international media is fixated on the crisis in Gaza between Hamas and Israel – and events in Ukraine. However, countless brutal wars continue in many nations. Also, famine now blights Amhara and Tigray in Ethiopia (Chinese drones also used by the government of Ethiopia) – and famine is now killing people in Sudan.
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