Harare — Due to a surge in rebel warfare in the area, the major power lines to the city of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have been severed, cutting off power to hospitals and water systems, Reuters reports.
Goma is home to nearly two million people and serves as the seat of North Kivu province. Virunga National Park, which runs the network that provides around 80% of the city’s energy, announced that fighting between the M23 rebels and the Congolese government cut off the major power lines to Goma.
On Tuesday, November 7, bombing continued around the engineers even though they had gained access to start fixing the main line, according to a park spokesperson. Earlier, the United Nations (UN) announced that Goma’s security perimeter was reinforced by a new operation launched by the Congolese army and the UN peacekeeping organization MONUSCO in response to clashes with the M23 rebels that have gotten closer to the city in recent weeks.
The UN estimates that the most recent violence has caused nearly 300,000 people to evacuate their homes, raising the total number of people displaced by the M23 war to approximately 1 million. Although Rwanda disputes that, Congo and UN experts claim that neighboring Rwanda supports the M23, an armed organization commanded by Tutsis.
In January 2023, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the Eropean Union (EU) “firmly urges Rwanda to stop supporting the M23” – the “March 23 Movement” operating in the eastern DR Congo. He also called on Kigali to press the M23 rebels to comply with a call by regional leader
In an address at the United Nations on September 20, 2022, Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi renewed accusations that Rwanda is supporting rebel groups in his country. This follows a recent confidential report by the UN, confirming Rwanda’s involvement.
Tshisekedi said that Rwanda had provided “massive support both in war materiel and troops” to M23 rebels, which have been increasingly active in eastern border areas, and which he brands a “terrorist group”.