New clashes reported in North-Kivu

Kinshasa- DR Congo (PANA) -- Armed groups have been clashing since last Wednesday in North-Kivu in violation of the ceasefire agreed late in January at the end of the Goma conference, military sources disclosed in Kinshasa on Thursday.
The exchanges are between soldiers loyal to Laurent Nkundabatware and militiamen of local Maï Maï groups in several villages in the Masisi area in north-western Goma, the sources said.
There were clashes in the localities of Nyamitaba, Nyakariba, Kibugu, Muheto and Kahira, said an official in Masisi who indicated that hundreds of villagers had to flee from their houses to escape a massacre.
All armed groups active in North-Kivu on 23 January signed an agreement in Goma committing themselves to immediate ceasefire and to gradually disengage their troops on the ground.
However, since then, clashes have been reported in North-Kivu, more often than not involving local groups and the National Congress for the People's Defence (CNDP) of Laurent Nkundabatware.
The Maï Maï, Congolese Resistant Patriots (PARECO) accuses CNDP of triggering the hostilities.
These clashes have been reported while discussions are going on between a government delegation and representatives of armed groups in Goma on the setting up of commissions whose task would be to monitor compliance with the agreement.

16 february 2008 09:02:00

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