While the details are still hazy, some sources are reporting that M23 rebels have captured Goma, home to United Nations peacekeepers currently deployed in the DRC. With “the heaviest fighting in Eastern Congo” since a 2008 rebel offensive in the same region, the rapidly escalating violence has been lost amidst today’s coverage of the crisis in Gaza.
Jason Stearns, an expert on the Congo, author of the acclaimed Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, has been following the story full-time. On his highly recommended blog, Congo Siasa, he writes: “It would appear that we are heading toward the end of ceasefire,” noting the devolving agreement between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army.
The latest news from the ground has left many to speculate on the intentions (and consequences) of the latest rebel advance. Phil Moore, a photographer who works in the area, tweeted about the conditions on the ground after previous weeks of fighting:
A few civilians pick through Kanyarucinya, with M23 around. Collecting firewood from the frames of what were their houses yesterday.
More to come… if anyone is listening.