Colonel Mamadou Moustapha Ndala, who led Congolese army soldiers on the front lines during their victory against the M23 rebels, was killed on Thursday in Beni, North Kivu province, during an ambush.
The signing of a document that was supposed to mark the end of peace talks between DR Congo’s government and the defeated M23 rebels was postponed indefinitely on Monday in Entebbe, Uganda, over a disagreement on its wording and title.
The Congolese government says it will not sign a “peace deal” with the M23 rebels now that they have been defeated. Information Minister and government spokesman Lambert Mende told reporters during a news conference in Kinshasa on Tuesday that there will only be a “statement.”
DR Congo’s army has liberated three major towns from the M23 rebels in a span of just three days. It is a dramatic fall for the M23 rebels, who have terrorized hundreds of thousands of civilians in eastern Congo for more than a year.
DR Congo’s government said on Friday it will protect its population against any military attack by the Rwandan army on its territory.
M23 rebels and their allies in Rwanda deliberately shelled civilians neighborhoods in Goma on Thursday, Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende said on Friday during a press conference in Kinshasa.
The M23 rebels are said to have fled from one of their main military base in North Kivu province. The Rumangabo military base was shelled by Congolese army attack helicopters on Wednesday. The airstrikes are said to have inflicted heavy losses to the M23 rebels, who did not expect such an attack.
Thousands of women protested against the M23 rebels in Kinshasa on Friday in the biggest demonstration yet in DR Congo’s capital against the rebels’ capture of the eastern Congo city of Goma on Tuesday.
Thousands of students protested in Kisangani, Bunia and Kinshasa on Tuesday after M23 rebels seized the eastern Congo city of Goma.
North Kivu province Governor Julien Paluku has reassured residents of the eastern Congo city of Goma that it remains under the control of the Congolese army. He dismissed rumors that top government and military officials have fled the provincial capital towards Bukavu, in South Kivu province. Military officials in Goma vowed to defend the city against an attack by M23 rebels.