DRC army shells mutineers
18 May 2012, 13:01
Goma - The Democratic Republic of Congo's military on Thursday shelled
positions it believed were held by mutineers who have been fighting the
army in the country's east, a military source said.
fired heavy artillery from tanks into the hills of Mbuzi and Tchanzu in
Nord-Kivu province and received no return fire, the source said.
spokesperson for the mutineers - former rebels who were integrated into
the national army under a 2009 peace deal but defected after
complaining of poor conditions - said they had "several wounded" but had
"We kept our positions," the spokesperson, Vianney Kazarana, told AFP.
mutineers, believed to number in the hundreds, are gathered in the
Rutshuru territory on the border with Rwanda and Uganda at the far
northeast of a small strip of the Virunga National Park.
Saturday, government forces carried out air strikes against their
headquarters in Runyonyi, a town near the Rwandan border, the army said.
military has been fighting the mutineers since late April, first in
Masisi territory, northwest of the provincial capital of Goma, and later
in Rutshuru, where the dissidents fled and regrouped.
mutineers, who began defecting in early April, have formed a new
military group called the March 23 Movement (M23), comprising ex-members
of the rebel National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP).
Former CNDP commander Bosco Ntaganda is accused of leading the mutiny.
known as "The Terminator", is wanted by the International Criminal
Court on a war crimes charge of enlisting child soldiers.
Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said he was again forcing boys into
military service, accusing him of forcibly recruiting at least 149 boys
aged between 12 and 20 in the latest conflict.