DR Congo rebels remain on Goma’s doorstep
MUNIGI: Two days after a rebel withdrawal from Democratic Republic of Congo's mining hub of Goma, scores of heavily armed fighters are camped just outside the city, despite an agreement to pull back further.
Rebel troops patrolled the road north while more could been seen in the strategic hills above a UN military base, only around three kilometres (two miles) from Goma's airport. "There are still lots of soldiers in the surrounding mountains and on the road. Some went north but many have stayed," said 16-year old Aime, gesturing as two rebels clutching assault rifles walked past.
The rebels' lightning capture of Goma two weeks ago -- eight months after they launched an uprising against Kinshasa -- had sparked fears of a wider war and major humanitarian crisis, and their withdrawal on Saturday was widely welcomed. A battalion of government troops, crammed into dozens of trucks, entered the city late on Monday afternoon. Under a regionally brokered deal the M23 rebels were supposed to pull out 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Goma, with UN troops then meant to move in and set up a buffer zone. afp