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Anti-Rwanda tensions boil over into looting in eastern DR Congo

Violence in Goma   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Thousands of Congolese went out in the streets of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, to protest against Rwanda's support for the M23 rebels and show their support for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The protest takes place a day after the government reiterated claims Kigali backed the notorious M23 rebel group.

"Rwanda has been attacking us for 20 years now. Today we ask for the vigilance of the population. Today we all stand up for the cause of the nation and we are behind the FARDC, our armed forces who are fighting to put the enemy out of action. Rwanda is attacking us and today, we tell Kagame to stop playing with the Congolese", warned Chance Makale, who participated in the demonstration. 

Female demonstrator, Nadège, claims the army has been infiltrated.

"Our government must know that the Congolese army is infiltrated. All these infiltrators must be driven out of the army and the police. If they succeed, then the DRC will have the strength to beat these Rwandan soldiers who are causing us so much suffering", she said.

Another demonstrator, Fiston Ketha, added that "at the moment our country is being attacked by a neighbouring country and we are not going to accept this great disorder that has lasted for so many years in our country. And if we are gathered here today, it is to show our direct or indirect support to our armed forces". 

The rebels resumed fighting last November after accusing the Kinshasa government of failing to respect a 2009 agreement under which the army was to incorporate its fighters.

On Monday the rebels took the trading town of Bunagana.

Reacting to the accusations, Rwanda has rejected all allegations of involvement.

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