Kiwanja-Ishasha villages in North-Kivu under the rule of March 23 rebels

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The rebels’ movement of March 23 is now occupying some of the villages’ of Kiwanja-Ishasha, situted 60 kilometers along the north-east of Rutshuru territory (North Kivu).

According to some sources, the March 23 rebels gradually occupied Katuiguru, Kisharo, and Buramba Nyamilima, before arriving at Ishasha on October 1 at night. The Mai-Mai group of Shetani Muhima and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) of Soki who had controlled over these villages moved out with out any struggle with the arrival of rebels. However, sources from the civil society says that the rebels have witness an opposition resistance from Mai-Mai Shetani fighters in Buramba near Nyamilima but to them the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in complicity with the March 23, gave way to the rebel movement.

The rebels of March 23 have been asked by the defense ministers of the member countries of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to return to their old position of 30 June 2012 on the hills of Runyoni which they captured on 16 August in Goma.
After a head-to-head talk on 15 July in Addis Ababa with the African Union, President Joseph Kabila of DRC and Paul Kagame of Rwanda have decided to deploy a neutral force.

The neutral force will be responsible for monitoring the border between the DRC, Rwanda and Kinshasa who have been accused of supporting rebels of March 23. This force will also fights against armed groups including the March 23 and the Hutu rebels of the FDLR. This force must be deployed under the mandate of the African Union and the United Nations.

However the financing and operating mode of this project has not yet been defined. Several residents of the area, fearing possible clashes have fled their villages taking refuge at the UN mission base for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) to Nyamilima and others have continued crossing the border to seek refuge in Uganda. Ishasha is the third border between the DRC and Uganda after Kasindi and Bunagana. This position carries between 500 and 700 thousand U.S. dollars in customs revenue monthly and according to the Directorate General of Customs and (LDB this area is under the control of rebels M 23 early July.

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