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26 février 2013 2 26 /02 /février /2013 06:38

DR Congo: M23's Makenga and Runiga factions 'clash' (to divert attention?)

BBC 25 February 2013 Last updated at 17:25 GMT


Col Sultani Makenga photographed in July 2012M23 military chief Col Sultani Makenga is reportedly at loggerheads with other leaders

At least eight people have been killed in the first clashes between rival factions of the M23 rebel group in DR Congo, sources have told the BBC.

The violence was linked to a power-struggle between M23 political leader Jean-Marie Runiga and military chief Sultani Makenga, the sources said.

On Sunday, regional leaders signed a UN-brokered accord to end conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

About 80,000 people have been displaced in fighting since May 2012.

The M23 launched a rebellion against the DR Congo government, briefly seizing Goma, the main city in the east, in November.

Both Rwanda and Uganda strongly deny claims they back the rebels.

The BBC's Ignatius Bahizi reports from neighbouring Uganda that the rival M23 factions exchanged gunfire in the town of Rutshuru, 70km (43 miles) north of Goma.


Congolese sources told him eight people had been killed - including six civilians.

But one source told the BBC Great Lakes Service that 19 people were killed - nine civilians and six fighters, including two majors.

The M23 denied that it was hit by dissent, our reporter says.

It blamed the violence on the FDLR rebel group, which is made up of Rwandans accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide that left about 800,000 people dead, he says.

The M23 is involved in separate peace talks with the DR Congo government in Uganda.

In January, it declared a unilateral ceasefire.

The talks could run into trouble if the M23 mediation team splits between supporters of Mr Runiga and Col Makenga, our reporter says.

DR Congo deal 'a significant event'

In Ethiopia on Sunday, the leaders and representatives of 11 African countries signed an accord, pledging to help end the conflict in DR Congo.

Leaders from Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic and South Sudan attended the meeting.

The deal was signed in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"It is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement," Mr Ban said.

The region's mineral riches have been plundered by numerous armed groups and countries over the past 15 years, while most Congolese people remain mired in poverty.

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  • : Congo Panorama. Le blog du soldat du peuple: Par Antoine Roger Lokongo, le Soldat du Peuple engagé dans la bataille des idées pour un Congo meilleur. Un Congo qui s'assume et devient un parténaire clé de la Chine, hier un pays sous-développé, qui, en un lapse de temps, a changé son destin en comptant sur ses propres efforts et devenu une puissance.
  • : A partir des idées de mes héros, Patrice Emery Lumumba et Laurent Désiré Kabila, je suis l'actualité politique de mon pays, la République Démocratique du Congo en partuclier et de l'Afrique en général et je donne mes commentaires. Antoine Roger Lokongo
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Hymne des Opprimés

  Ces CPP-ci sont la lumière des ouvriers
et des paysans,
ainsi que de tout opprimé.

Il n’y a point de doute d’abattre l’exploitation et de créer une juste société.

Notre serment est de ne jamais échouer,
enjoignons toutes nos forces en un faisceau,
tenons bien nos armes dans nos mains,
car ces CPP sont la force du peuple.

Dans sa noble cause,
jamais de spoliation.

Notre lutte revendique nos droits,
quoiqu’il en coûte,
jamais de servitude.

Pour les opprimés,
la Révolution est un rempart,
son ultime but est que le peuple gouverne.

Laurent Désiré Kabila,
lâchement assassiné le 16 janvier 2001.


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