Hundreds of displaced women in Goma called for the departure of the rebel group M23 on Friday and an end to the violence in Eastern Congo. The women said they’re suffering from hunger and their children have been unable to attend school.
With babies on their back, they chanted slogans and carried signs demanding justice and peace. “M23 makes us suffer. We are hungry, even our husbands have been killed,” said Kasikiti Asuta, 42, displaced mother of four children.
The conflict in eastern Congo has gone on for decades, with more than 100 armed groups fighting for control of valuable mineral resources while others protect their communities, and has triggered an exodus of refugees.
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The demonstration took place while the East African Heads of State were meeting in Addis Ababa at a special summit to discuss the security issue in eastern DRC. The day before the protest, the Congolese army clashed with M23 rebels a few kilometres from the Goma.
Thursday evening, the Congolese army denounced the attack against its positions by the M23, in violation of the ceasefire as recommended by the East African Heads of State, at a recent Burundi Summit.
Earlier in December, the United Nations accused the rebels of being responsible for massacring more than 130 civilians in two villages.