21 November 2012

Congo-Kinshasa: Goma Residents Return Home

Security meeting scheduled later today in Goma

On Wednesday morning, many residents of the Eastern Congolese city of Goma who had fled to Rubavu in the previous days, crossed the border to go back home. While the main border post remained closed, a smaller one known as 'Petite Barrière' was open.

Traders too were seen crossing the border in both directions.

The Goma citizens had fled their city for fear of heavy fighting between the advancing M23 rebels and the Congolese army (FARDC). In the end, the rebels took the town unopposed on Tuesday afternoon, with the FARDC making what they called a "strategic withdrawal." The UN forces of Monusco remained in Goma but did not challenge the rebels. A Monusco spokesperson said their troops continue to patrol the town.

Officials told The Rwanda Focus that later today a security meeting will be held in Goma. At the same time, both President Kagame and President Kabila have arrived in Kampala for talks with their Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has condemned the capture of Goma, and is threatening sanctions against the leaders of the M23.

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