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Again, DR Congo accuses Rwanda of lending support to M23 rebels in attacks as thousands flee

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has once again, accused Rwandan soldiers and artillery of lending support to the M23 rebel group who carried out another devastating attack on Sunday in the eastern part of the DRC which saw thousands of residents displaced and fleeing the region.

Kinshasha also accused Rwanda of seeking to occupy the Congolese border town of Bunagana by supporting the rebels’ attacks.

The UN Humanitarian Agency (OCHA), in a statement on Monday, said the violence pushed over 25,000 people to flee the area, with thousands escaping to neighbouring Uganda.

Though Rwanda has denied the accusation of backing the rebel group, the DRC’s allegations are part of an escalating dispute between the East African neighbours which has revived old animosities between them which was stoked by the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The office of the governor of North Kivu province also said Congolese forces had repelled early-morning attacks by M23, backed by Rwandan forces, near Bunagana and elsewhere.

“The goal pursued by Rwanda is to occupy Bunagana in order not only to asphyxiate the city of Goma but also to put pressure on the Congolese government,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

The Rwandan government has however, debunked the accusations and denies playing any role in M23’s recent attacks.

But it also echoed M23 charges that Congo is also cooperating with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an armed group run by ethnic Hutus who fled Rwanda after taking part in the 1994 genocide.

This is not the first time the DRC has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 militants. On Thursday last week, it accused Rwanda of sending 500 commandos in disguise into eastern Congo.

The following day, the two countries accused each other of firing rockets across their shared border with the Congolese army sailying one strike killed two Congolese children.

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Unprecedented floods destroy 2,500 homes, displace thousands in Eastern Sudan

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More than 2,500 homes have been destroyed while thousands of residents were forced to flee several towns in eastern Sudan as a result of seasonal floods that hit the region following days of torrential rain.

Sudanese state news agency, SUNA, reported on Friday that the collapse of the houses have left thousands homeless in the already impoverished region.

SUNA said another 546 houses were partially destroyed by torrential rains in the River Nile province late Thursday as the River bank broke and the area became flooded.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a statement on the disaster, said there were fears some people could have been swept away by the floods especially those at the bank of the River Nile.

The statement noted that since the start of the rainy season in May, an estimated 38,000 people have been affected by the floods across the country.

“So far, the areas hardest hit include Kassala, South Darfur, Central Darfur, South Kordofan, the White Nile and the River Nile provinces.

“The total nationwide death toll remains undetermined,” OCHA said.

In an earlier report on Thursday, OCHA had said that at least six people had died, and an unconfirmed number of people were injured when their houses collapsed or were washed away by floods in the Central Darfur province.

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Five killed as opposition protesters clash with security agencies in Somaliland

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At least five persons were killed on Thursday as a demonstration by Somaliland opposition members protesting over fears of a delayed election, turned bloody as security forces tried to repel the demonstrators from destroying properties.

An opposition leader said the police opened fire on the demonstrators after accusing them of not following officers’ instructions.

Hundreds of people took part in the protests across the country after talks between the government and opposition failed and the opposition accused authorities of trying to delay the election.

President Muse Bihi Abdi who confirmed the incident in a statement on Friday, said the five were killed in the capital, Hargeisa, and the towns of Burao and Erigavo in the northern region that separates the breakaway country from Somalia.

Abdi also confirmed that almost 100 others were wounded, with most of them members of security forces.

The president however, blamed opposition groups for the unrest, reiterating that unauthorized protests would not be tolerated and dissidents would be crushed.

Main opposition leader, Abdirahman Mohamed Irro, said despite the killings, protests will continue until the presidential election is held on November 13 as pronounced by Abdi.

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