A senior member of the FDLR militia in the Eastern Congo has been gunned down by M23 combatants as sporadic gun battles continue to rock areas near the territory held by the Congolese mutineers.
Colonel Sangano Musuhuke alias Soki was shot on Tuesday night as his group, which has been operating from Busanza East, attempted to overrun an M23 command post.
Chimpreports understands that armed with pangas and machetes, the FDLR bandits had also planned to steal cattle from locals.
Security sources said DRC forces, FARDC, in conjunction with FDLR, a militia that draws majority of its combatants from elements that perpetrated the 1994 Rwanda genocide and has been accused of committing heinous atrocities against civilians in DRC, were stepping up attacks against M23 in preparation for a massive invasion by the UN intervention Brigade.
It is widely believed that the Brigade will attack M23 positions in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo.
The incident comes against the backdrop of clashes between FARDC and M23 in Kanyarucinya on Monday night.
Meanwhile, as clashes continue in DRC, talks between M23 and DRC government have resumed in Kampala after a six-month deadlock.
According to army spokesperson, Paddy Ankunda, “the negotiations have gained momentum and we expect the two parties to reach a peace agreement soon.”
He said the M23 delegation led by Rene Abandi met the DRC government team under the leadership of Dr Malu Malu on Tuesday.
“They (M23 and DRC) met face to face after a long time. They submitted their papers (proposed draft peace agreement –Ed) to the mediator (Uganda’s Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga) who in turn gave them guidelines on how they should formulate and harmonise their demands.”
Ankunda added: “So the guide paper will help them to refine their issues. It will also help them on the discussion son which the agreement can be nailed.”
He further said the “signing of an agreement is in sight,” underscoring hopes that a political, nonmilitary and homegrown solution can be reached for a country that has been ravaged by decades of war, hunger, disease and poverty.
To lay down their tools, M23 asked Kabila to release all political prisoners affiliated to the rebel group; declare Kivu a disaster area and formally recognize the ranks of the military and police on the basis of M23 OB (Order of Battle) presented by the movement.
The rebels also want Kabila to organize, “without delay, provincial, urban and municipal elections and local throughout the territory of the Republic, in accordance with section 1 of Law No. 06/006 09 March 2006 on the organization of elections in the DRC.”
The demands were contained in M23’s proposed draft peace agreement presented to Dr Crispus Kiyonga, the mediator of peace talks in Kampala in April.
M23 also want the DRC Government to show commitment to creating a special structure for national reconciliation.
The United Nations has since deployed an intervention Brigade to combat the rebels. Tanzania and South African troops are currently stationed in Goma waiting for instructions to engage the guerillas.
Thousands of Congolese have in recent months fled the war-torn country to refugee camps in the neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.