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A renegade Congolese soldier stands at an outpost in Eastern Congo deserted town of Kanyabayonga December 16, 2004 which is deserted due to clashes in the area. The Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced its army commander in the eastern province of North Kivu, the scene of days of fighting between government reinforcements and rebel units, authorities said.

REUTERS/Radu Sigheti REUTERS RSS/AA

Humanitarian truce extended in Congo

A humanitarian truce in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between government troops and M23 rebels backed by neighboring Rwanda was extended by 15 days, to August 3rd, but fighting in the area continues, and the prospect of a wider conflict looms.

The background: Over a hundred rebel groups are fighting for control of mineral-rich regions in the eastern DRC along the Rwandan border. M23, formed by deserters from the DRC army, is the most powerful of the groups – its decision to launch an offensive to capture the provincial capital of Goma in 2022 reignited a decades-long conflict in DRC that has so far displaced more than 3 million people.

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A Congolese soldier stands guard as he waits for the ceremony to repatriate the two bodies of South African soldiers killed in the ongoing war between M23 rebels and the Congolese army in Goma, North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo February 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Arlette Bashizi

Congo demands world boycott of Rwanda’s mineral exports

The Democratic Republic of Congo has called for a global embargo of mineral exports from Rwanda, which it accuses of backing rebel groups along their shared frontier. Congo says that because Rwanda allegedly uses violent proxies to seize mines in Congo before exporting their products as though they came from Rwanda, all Rwandan ore should be considered “blood minerals.”

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