At least 110 people, most of them youths, were detained after they accused the M23 rebels of thefts. The AP reported that the rebels later said they would free most of them by tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for civil society groups in North Kivu province, Omar Kavota, warned on Friday that the M23 may be planning a massacre in Kiwanja and claim it as further proof that the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, known as MONUSCO, cannot protect civilians.
UN-backed Radio Okapi reports that:
The UN News Centre also reported on the climate of terror being created by the M23 rebels as they feel the squeeze from the Congolese army since fighting resumed in mid-July:
The M23 rebels have always been very unpopular in the regions they have occupied. They have often summoned people to rallies to try to make it look as if they enjoy support from the local population.
But fed up with the rebels’ many abuses, reports are emerging of more and more people taking matter in their own hands to defend themselves. More and more people are creating self-defense groups and decide to attack rebel positions.
Already under pressure from a rejuvenated Congolese army, and after facing multiple airstrikes during the last two weeks, the rebels are said to be in disarray and showing signs of panic.
We can only hope and pray for the youths in Rutshuru, who dared to confront the M23 rebels after being summoned to a rally.