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Rwandan Special Forces Within M23 Rebels Kill a Tanzanian Peace Keeper in Eastern Congo

Rwandan Defense Forces in DRC

Rwandan Special Forces in Eastern DRC

Sources in  Goma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), inform Afroamerica Network that Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) special forces embedded with  M23 rebels have killed a Tanzanian peacekeeper of the UN Intervention Bridage.  The killing happened on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, while the M23 rebels were attempting to overtake the  positions occupied by Congolese army, FARDC,  around the town of Goma.

According to the sources, the RDF special forces have been particularly targeting the Tanzanian forces with the UN Intervention Brigade since these forces deployed to Eastern DRC in June 2013. According to AfroAmerica Network sources within M23 rebels, in early July 2013, the RDF special forces had expressed their excitement about a potential military showdown between the  Rwandan Defense Forces and Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces in eastern DRC (see our article You Will Be Whipped Like a Small Boy, Tanzania Government Warns Rwandan Dictator General Kagame of July 13, 2013).

At the time, the  M23 rebels sources said:

The Rwandans[Special Forces] are excited right now and are saying that they will hit these Tanzanians and teach them a lesson they will never forget, ” and that

The Rwandans [Special Forces] are saying that Tanzanians do not remember how to fight and will be routed without a fight,

The statements, considered as  bravados at the time, may have started to translate into real action. if this would prove to be true,   Eastern DRC could have become the center of a power play  between Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete and the Rwandan  General Paul Kagame and a place where the two may finally get even.

According to sources, along with the Tanzanian peacekeeper killed, a half dozen of Tanzanian officers have been wounded.

In an angry statement,  the head of the UN Mission in Congo, MONUSCO,  Martin Kobler  had qualified the killing as a ” murder by M23 rebels.”

The UN Intervention Brigade has been trying to use helicopters, heavy artillery, and tanks to help FARDC fend off attacks by M23 rebels. The results of the UN Intervention Brigade appears to be mixed. Since the fightings started a week ago, the positions have not much moved, with the M23 rebels holding theirs in Kibati while the FARDC supported by the UN Intervention Brigade trying to push them further North. Meanwhile, the M23 rebels and RDF special forces  appear to have dug their heels into the hills of Kibati, since August 21, 2013.

Instead of being driven further North, the M23 rebels,  supported by RDF, have been bombing Goma and killing a score of civilians. According to independent sources and the DRC Government, the M23 rebels have also been bombing the Rwandan territory to justify the  presence of RDF forces in the DRC, as a self defense.

On Sunday August 25, 2013, the  US State Department condemned attacks by the M23 , after these  killed more than three people in Goma,  on Saturday (see here). 

“We urgently call on (the) DRC and Rwandan governments to exercise restraint to prevent military escalation of the conflict or any action that puts civilians at risk,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement, before adding:  “We are deeply concerned about evidence of increasing ethnic tensions in Goma and call on all parties to avoid any actions that could exacerbate such tensions.”

The US Government asked the M23 rebels to disband and threatened to “to consider further targeted sanctions against the leaders of the M23 and other armed groups and those who support them.”

Now that the Rwandan Defense Forces and M23 rebels have killed a Tanzanian peace keeper, most eyes will be on both Tanzanian President Jakaya  Kikwete and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. to see what their next moves would be.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bibif September 2, 2013, 6:26 pm

    Mr Kagame…..Le sang des Congolais crié contre vous!
    800.000 innocents ont été dans le génocide au et Rwanda; nous les pleurs encore aujourd’hui mais figurez-vous que la guerre que vous entretenez au Congo à déjà pris 6Millions d”Âmes! Les Congolais veulent la paix. Et vous en avez la Clé!

  • Jimy Jobs September 1, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Rwanda and m23 should be seriously hit,enough is enough!

  • Jean Lucien August 30, 2013, 8:18 am

    Celui qui écrit un article pareil est celui qui ne veut et qui ne cherche pas la paix dans la région des grands lacs. Pour finir il se contredit lui meme, comment le rwanda peut bombarder son propre tertoire pour justifier sa présence en RDC ( voir son dernier paragraphe) c’est absurde!

    • Yeremiya August 30, 2013, 3:19 pm

      Jean Lucien.
      La discussion que vous voulez mener est stérile. Les Nations Unies ont déjà confirmé, hier jeudi le 29 aout 2013, ce que Afroamerica network a publié: les forces gouvernementales rwandaises combattent aux cotés des M23, et ce sont les M23 qui ont tiré sur le territoire rwandais. Donc, les forces rwandaises de defense tirent sur le territoire rwandais, à partir du territoire congolais. Demandons plutôt à nos dirigeants ce qu’ils veulent, au lieu de les défendre aveuglement en attaquant la presse.

  • NIKITA MORGAN August 30, 2013, 7:37 am

    Dear Yeremiya, what you don’t get is that such articles don’t contribute to bring peace and invoking God, who should we invoke then? Remember the Bible says that revenge belongs to the Lord, remember David had chances to kill King Soul but he refrained from doing so when he had thousands reason to kill him, unless you don’t believe in God, you should strive for peace as a child of God!!! Peace and Grace be with you my brother and be blessed

    • Yeremiya August 30, 2013, 3:12 pm

      No. What I am pointing to is also in the Bible, Matthew 7:5: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Hence, if you want to invoke God, you cannot ignore crimes committed on each side. That is my point.
      It is good that you evoke King Saul and David, but this is out of place. The real problem here is between our leaders and the innocent victims of these leaders, as I mentioned in my earlier answer. If you want peace, ask those who have power to make peace, not the victims themselves. If you can’t, then let God be the judge, but avoid hypocrisy.

      • NIKITA MORGAN August 30, 2013, 5:43 pm

        I’m not being hypocrite or taking any side because you don’t even know on which side I’m but I will tell you which side I am, I’m your brother in Christ as I saw you mentioning about the Bible, do you agree with me? I hope. The One who is keeping this breath inside me is the Same one keeping you alive, the blood running in your veins is red as mine, so the victims are human being as I am, so I can never take side when innocent people are dying but how does it help me and the regions if I start using words which can worsen the situation ? If you think that it is the right way then please gon on and May God be with you. Be blessed

  • Yeremiya August 29, 2013, 11:29 pm

    Let the Afroamerica network journalists do their job of informing us, and do yours. Yes. God is also aware of the crimes committed by our leaders, and will judge those who close their eyes on those crimes, while invoking the name of God in vain. Who knows better the tears of these Congolese and Rwandan orphans, widows, raped women, and innocent people wasting away in Rwandan prisons, than God?
    It is ironic that you invoke God; Isn’t it?

  • NIKITA MORGAN August 29, 2013, 9:27 pm

    There is something you people writing these articles should know, there is A GOD in heaven and He hates lies and troublemakers, you have been writing lies and articles to incite hatred and violence in the region, remember that you reap what you sow! God may forgive you and lead you to His endless light, embrace you in His Grace and heal your broken souls. Peace with you