This morning, despite the start of the ceasefire having been scheduled for 12:00 local time, clashes continued on the northern and southern fronts of that province in eastern DRC, and both sides accused each other of launching them.
"Karuba (about 30 kilometers west of the provincial capital, Goma) has just fallen to the rebels," a military source told Agence France-Presse. "We attacked them yesterday [on Monday] night, but this morning they launched a counterattack and at this time the fighting continues", added the same source.
"The M23 terrorists and their sponsors of the Defense Forces of Rwanda (Rwandan Armed Forces) launched an attack targeting the recently deployed Burundi contingent, integrated into the East African Community (EAC) force," he announced on Monday to In the evening Lieutenant Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, spokesman for the FARDC (Armed Forces of the DRC) in North Kivu.
Ndjike added that the light artillery attack, with "mortars", targeted a camp for displaced people and the town of Mubambiro, 20 kilometers from Goma, causing "enormous damage".
Willy Ngoma, a spokesman for the M23 group, told AFP that the Congolese army attacked "all (their) positions simultaneously" and that the rebellion was still being attacked this morning. The M23 is fighting back "in self-defence", he added.
Before this ceasefire, announced by the Angolan mediator last Friday, all the previous regional initiatives launched to halt the advance of the M23 in North Kivu in the last months failed.
On the 3rd of March, the Angolan presidency, appointed by the African Union as a mediator in this crisis, announced a new timetable for the cessation of hostilities, setting it from today at noon, local time, "throughout the region eastern DRC".
The Tutsi-dominated M23 group remained inactive for almost a decade, but resumed fighting at the end of 2021. Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of supporting this rebel movement, which has been corroborated by United Nations experts, although Kigali has deny.