INSECURITY: Bandits ‘Bomb’ Airport

A bomb struck the Goma airport early Saturday, as fighting escalated between the M23 rebel group and Congolese government forces.

The attack occurred amidst heightened tensions around the strategic town of Sake, located approximately 20 kilometers from Goma.

According to sources within the North Kivu governorate, a bomb was detonated at the airport, causing no damage, but two explosions were heard by an AFP correspondent and local residents.

Security sources confirmed that two bombs were used in the attack, and experts are currently investigating the incident’s origin.

The UN Security Council has expressed concern over the escalating violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, condemning an offensive launched by the M23 rebels near Goma.

The DRC, the UN, and Western countries allege that Rwanda is supporting the rebels in a bid to control vast mineral resources, an accusation Kigali denies.

The M23 rebels have conquered vast swathes of North Kivu in the last two years, and the latest fighting has pushed tens of thousands of civilians to flee towards Goma, which stands between Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border and is practically cut off from the country’s interior.

A confidential UN document seen by AFP earlier this week revealed that the Rwandan army is using sophisticated weapons such as surface-to-air missiles to support M23.

A “suspected Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) mobile surface-to-air missile” was fired at a UN observation drone last Wednesday without hitting it, the report said.

UN forces have been in DRC for nearly 25 years, but stand accused of failing to protect civilians from armed groups.

The UN Security Council voted in December to accede to Kinshasa’s demand for a pullout despite the volatile situation.

Multiple diplomatic efforts have failed to quell the violence in the Congo, and African leaders meeting for a summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa discussed the DRC situation on the sidelines late Friday and were due to convene again on Saturday.


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