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188 words - July 17, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On July 14, a "significant group" of the March 23 movement (M23) attacked the national forces (FARDC) in Mutaho, eight kilometers northwest of Goma, in the North Kivu area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC).
Heavy artillery and a battle tank were used in the attack according to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) which warned that "any attempt by the M23 to advance toward Goma will be considered a direct threat to civilians," and will result in the use of lethal force by the UN peacekeepers.
Since March, a MONUSCO brigade was allowed to carry out, with or without FARDC, "targeted offensive operations," against M23-like armed groups. In June, there was hope of a resumption of peace talks between the Government of the DRC and the M23 in line with the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework Agreement signed in February.
Since then, renewed fighting has uprooted thousands of civilians, most of them fleeing to neighboring Uganda that is already home to more than 125,000 refugees coming from the DRC.
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