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DRC: M23 rebels seize control of Mweso in the east few weeks before presidential elections

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 04:31
DRC: M23 rebels seize control of Mweso in the east few weeks before presidential elections

(Ecofin Agency) - As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prepares for general elections scheduled for December 20, the eastern region remains conflict-ridden, facing persistent attacks from the M23 rebel group.

In a significant turn of events, M23 rebels have taken control of Mweso, a city located about a hundred kilometers north of Goma in the North Kivu province, right in the midst of the ongoing electoral process.

Confirmation of the seizure came through media reports, highlighting that Mweso was nearly deserted on Thursday, November 23, following deadly clashes between the rebel militia and local self-defense groups, commonly known as "Wazalendo."

This takeover unfolds less than a month before the scheduled general elections, disrupting the electoral campaign already in full swing. The escalating M23 attacks in the eastern part of the country not only disrupt the electoral process but also pose a significant risk to the conduct of the vote in this region. Authorities note a worsening humanitarian crisis in these affected areas.

The capture of Mweso marks a notable advancement in the M23 rebels' campaign to seize strategic cities in North Kivu. In early November, the UN mission (Monusco) and the National Armed Forces (FARDC) launched Operation "Springbok" to counter the rebel group's progress toward major cities, including Goma and Saké, along the shores of Lake Kivu.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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