DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
GOMA — While the international community is focused on the M23 rebellion, other armed groups have taken advantage of the security vacuum in eastern Congo and killed more than 260 people since April, says a U.N. report released Wednesday.
“In April 2012, army desertions and the subsequent creation of the M23 armed group led the Congolese army to focus on efforts to contain this new rebellion. Many armed groups have taken advantage of the security vacuum left by the redeployment of army units to expand their own areas of influence,” the report says.
A series of six investigations by the U.N. determined that the Raia Mutomboki and Nyatura armed groups were responsible for most of the 75 massacres in which at least 264 people died, including 83 children.
The actual number of victims is likely to be higher, as not all massacres were investigated.
The Raia Mutomboki — meaning “Angry Villagers” in Swahili — is a Congolese armed group that was created in South Kivu in 2008 to defend the local population against the exactions of the FDLR, a Hutu militia of fighters who helped perpetrate the 1994 Rwandan genocide and have operated in eastern Congo since then.
President returns home after Saudi surgery
KHARTOUM — President Omar al-Bashir returned home Wednesday after undergoing vocal-cord surgery in Saudi Arabia.
Thousands of people lined streets around the airport in central Khartoum to greet him after the presidential plane landed at about 4:15 p.m.
Gen. Bashir, 68, arrived on the eve of a conference by an Islamist social movement at the heart of his ruling National Congress Party.
Gen. Bashir, who overthrew a democratically elected government in a 1989 military coup, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Sudan’s far-western Darfur region, where a rebellion began in 2003.
Son of ex-president resigns Cabinet post