• World - Africa
  • Updated: March 03, 2023

M23 Controlled Roads In DRC Reopened, Closed

M23 Controlled Roads In DRC Reopened, Closed

M23 Controlled Roads In DRC Reopened And Closed.

"The movement of goods and merchandise is now authorised" on a series of roads controlled by the M23, Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, the spokesman for the provincial governor, announced in a statement. 

The Democratic Republic of the Congo's issue of violence against women and girls has been addressed by the UN, which has stated that it is prepared to take action. 

However, according to the provincial capital of North Kivu, the time it took for the roads to reopen for goods and merchandise to pass through was less than 24 hours.

Shortly after the announcement, the first convoy returned to Goma without major incident.

The measure has been "suspended until further notice", the governorate further stated in his statement, claiming that the rebels had just "killed a driver" and "looted all the goods".

Large portions of North Kivu have been under M23 control since late October 2022, cutting off traffic on the province's main roads.

"I have just arrived (in Goma) after enormous suffering. We stayed there for two months, sleeping under the vehicles," Zawadi Kavira, a passenger stranded in Mweso, on the other side of the front lines, about 100km north of Goma, told AFP. 

Numerous transporters and passengers headed from the north were similarly obstructed by the fighting.

One driver claimed, "We were blocked when we got to Mweso because of the fighting in Kitshanga.

The rebels took over control of this town, which has 60,000 residents, on January 26. Since then, the M23 has continued to advance and has tightened its hold on Goma.

Goma, a city of over a million people, is tucked between the rebel-held territory to the north and west, Lake Kivu to the south, and the Rwandan border to the east.

In two letters sent on February 28, a group of North Kivu deputies and the provincial FEC representative asked the governor and president of the Republic to reopen the roads to "allow the evacuation of foodstuffs to the town of Goma" according to the FEC.

Before changing his mind the next day, the governor had agreed to their request "in the interest of the population, which is suffering from the effects of the war".

The M23, also known as the "Movement of 23 March" is a Tutsi-majority uprising that went dormant for almost ten years before resurfacing at the end of 2021.

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