By Nangayi Guyson in Kampala, Uganda
M23 rebel fighters who captured the strategic provincial capital of Goma on Tuesday have vowed to overthrow DR Congo government.
While addressing a crowd at the football Stadium, rebel commander Lt Col Vianney Kazarama said that they were ready to “liberate” DR.Congo and that the journey has started now. Reuters news agency quoted Kazarama saying that “We’re going to move on to Bukavu and then to Kinshasa.”
President Kabila urged the Congolese nation to “resist” the rebels from advancing and defend the country’s sovereignty.
The UN Security Council has also urged sanctions against M23 leaders condemning the rebel seizure of Goma.
DRC’s President Kabila is in the Ugandan capital, Kampala holding talks with Rwandan Paul Kagame and Ugandan Yoweri Museveni in an attempt to end the crisis.
The Congolese government and UN have accused Rwanda and Uganda for supporting Rebels but both countries have denied accusations.
Tens of thousands of people have fled since the fighting began early this year; many are seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan
This is not the first time DRC have been invaded, in late 1990s neighbouring states of Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola entered in war with DRC which officially ended 2003 and more than five million people died in the war.
UN accused for failing to protect Goma
The rebels who took over Goma on Tuesday met very little resistance from UN and government forces. It is believed that UN has more than 19,000-strong force in DR Congo to protect the government but it was a disappointment when the UN’s forces failed to show support.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius described the UN’s failure to intervene in Goma as “absurd” and called on for a change in its mandate.
But a UN spokesman said that with only 1,500 peacekeepers in Goma a “value judgement” had to be made.
“Do you open fire and put civilians at risk or do you hold your fire, continue your patrols, observe what is happening and remind the M23 that they are subject to international humanitarian and human rights law?” the spokesman said.
Congolese refugees in Uganda react
Congolese refuges in Uganda cried after the news reached them that Goma was in the hands of the rebels, A refugee who only gave one name as Franco said “ I am worried .my whole family was in Goma , I was planning to bring them to Uganda but again the border was closed . I have no any option of hearing from them and I don’t know where they are since rebels captured the City.”
Many Congolese civilians have been fleeing since the fighting between the Rebels and governments forces started this year but the Ugandan government closed the boarder early this year after being accused of backing the rebels.
President Kabila took power in 2007 after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila who also took power about a decade back with the help of rebel forces backed by Rwanda and Uganda.
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