Suspected March 23 Movement (M23) rebels have attacked positions of DR Congo army (FARDC), a move observers say could ignite a protracted conflict in the volatile eastern part of the mineral-rich country.
The attack occurred on Tuesday at Bikenke, Rutshuru territory, North Kivu.
According to Kivu Security, an organization based in Goma city mapping violence in Kivu region, at least 3 FARDC soldiers were killed and 1 was wounded.
The development comes two weeks after President Felix Tshisekedi chaired a meeting with the top leadership of (FARDC) and leaders of each defense zone and informed of a serious rebellion brewing brewing in the highlands and midlands of the Fizi and Mwenga territories in South Kivu province.
The rebellion against Banyamulenge is reportedly backed by Rwanda, which denies the claims.
President Kagame recently said Rwandan troops were not deployed in DRC.
Tshisekedi’s meeting with FARDC’s top brass followed a reshuffle in the country’s military leadership which saw Inspector General of the Armed Forces General John Numbi replaced with General Gabriel Amisi who has been his deputy.
The M23 rebel group disbanded in 2013 after being defeated by a joint force from Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi and United Nations.
The Tanzania army provided commando units and heavy artillery which smoked the M23 from their bunkers.
South Africa provided ground troops and also deployed surveillance planes which mapped M23 bases before being shelled.
The M23 rebels fled to Uganda and Rwanda. Uganda later repatriated rebels back home.
However, the M23 military commander, Brig Sultan Makenga quietly returned to eastern DRC where he has been operating with other rebels.
According to the UN experts report released at the time, the rebels had been armed and trained by Rwanda.
Kigali is uncomfortable with Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and P5 rebels who have been creating bases in DRC with plans to oust President Paul Kagame.