DRC: M23 advancing on Goma —again

The M23 insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is intensifying once again. Some 150,000 people have been displaced over the past days, adding to the 1.5 million already uprooted by the fighting, which began in late 2021. The latest clashes are taking place close to Goma, a city of 2 million people and a hub for humanitarian aid operations in the east. The M23 says it is not planning on seizing the city (as it last did in 2012), but its forces fired a rocket on Feb. 7 that landed near a Goma university. Soldiers from a recently deployed Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention force appear to have entered the battlefield on the side of the Congolese army, which is also supported by local militia. Regional mediation efforts have so far failed—though a protest by the Congolese national football team (targeting violence across eastern DRC) at the Africa Cup of Nations did make global headlines.

From The New Humanitarian, Feb. 9

See our last reports on the M23 insurgency, and SADC interventions elsewhere in Africa. 

See our report on M23's 2012 taking of Goma.

M23 continue advance on Goma

The M23 rebel group has seized the town of Nyanzale, in the country's east, in an attack that killed at least 15 people and displaced thousands. The violence in embattled North Kivu province has worsened as M23 increases its pressure on the main city of Goma. (TNH)

DR Congo reinstates death penalty after 21 years

The Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 14 revealed it is lifting a 21-year-moratorium on executions in response to escalating violence and militant attacks. Specifically, the lifting of the moratorium to stop citizens, as incuding active-duty military and police troops, from cooperating with M23 rebels in the country's eastern regions. The decision to lift the moratorium and reinstate the death penalty was adopted by a council of ministers in early February and made public in a justice ministry circular. (Jurist)