M23 moves closer to Goma
The M23 rebel group has moved close to the key city of Goma after capturing the village of Shasha located in the Masisi territory, about 33 km southwest of the capital of North Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since Saturday, the M23 rebels controls Kirotshe, Shasha, Kihindo, Kituva, Bukobati, and Nyamubingwa.
The “March 23 Movement”, also control the road connecting South Kivu and North Kivu Provinces.
Videos on social media appeared to show fighters in the M23 group celebrating and claiming they had captured Shasha.
Alliance Fleuve Congo leader Corneille Nangaa, confirms the capture of the village of Shasha, located 33 km from Goma in North Kivu.
The Congolese army has not announced anything about the closure of the Sake-Minova road or the capture of the Village of Shasha on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Goma, home to more than one million people, located just on the Rwandan border, was already cut off after M23 took Sake-Minova, Sake-Masisi, Rutshuru-Goma and Kitschanga-Sake roads.
According to experts privy to the internal dynamics of this rebel organisation, the M23 rebels want to capture Goma city to force Kinshasa to make concessions.
The M23, which Kinshasa has claimed is backed by Rwanda, took up arms at the end of 2021 and has since seized parts of Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Masisi.
Meanwhile, M23 accuses the government, SADC, Burundian soldiers, the FDLR, and rebel groups working with the government of using heavy artillery, warplanes, and drones in areas heavily populated by civilians.