Situation tense in eastern DRC

Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM
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GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Residents in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo said they were on edge despite the departure of the M23 rebel movement.

The United Nations last weekend welcomed a decision by the March 23 rebel movement to pull out of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. Kieran Dwyer, a spokesman for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, told the U.N. News Center the stability along the border with Rwanda was "very fragile."

A journalist in the area told German news agency Deutsche Welle that residents were afraid and there was "no political authority" in Goma apart from the city's mayor.

The United Nations said the withdrawal was in line with regional agreements brokered in late November. U.N. peacekeepers in DRC escorted national police to the area to stabilize the situation. Dwyer said about 1,000 Congolese police were expected on the ground in Goma "in the coming days."

M23 is comprised of Tutsi rebels and is suspected of committing crimes during its rebellion. It allegedly has the support of the Rwanda government, an allegation Kigali denies.

The British government last week said it was withholding $33.6 million in aid to Rwanda because of concerns about rebel support in eastern DRC.

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