[QODLink]
Africa
DR Congo military battles 'M23' mutineers
New fighting erupts between Democratic Republic of Congo forces and renegade ex-soldiers near Ugandan border.
Last Modified: 20 May 2012 14:28

Fresh clashes between the Democratic Republic of Congo's military and a group of mutineers has erupted in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, a day after fierce battles near a rare gorilla park.

"We're on the ground. We've been confronting the FARDC [the Democratic Republic of Congo's military] since this morning 3km from Bunagana ... where we were yesterday," Vianney Kazarana, a spokesman for the mutineers' March 23 Movement (M23), told the AFP news agency.

"The FARDC are using combat tanks. We're resisting. We're at the front, we're facing the enemy."

Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri, reporting from Bunagana in the DRC, said: "We are seeing and hearing a lot of movement along the road in Bunagana near the Ugandan border.

"We are 5km away from positions belonging to M23, the rebel group which is currently fighting government forces.

"We have seen the government forces maneuvering along this road with pretty heavy weaponry. We saw them with anti-aircraft guns and we believe that they are going to be using anti-aircraft air guns to fire into M23 positions in the hill sides nearby.

The two sides have been mired in back-and-forth clashes in the remote jungle region for weeks.

The mutineers are former rebels who were integrated into the army under a 2009 peace deal but started to defect en masse, complaining of poor treatment.

On Saturday, fighting broke out around 02:00 GMT when M23 attacked army positions in the Rutshuru territory near Virunga National Park on the Ugandan border, home to more than half the world's 700 or so mountain gorillas.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar are anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
join our mailing list